July 25, 2019

P Sainath: The water crisis is not caused by drought

Magsaysay award winner and founder-editor of PARI, P Sainath analyses India's water scarcity, the agrarian crisis, and farmer suicides, before asking the question: what can we do about it?

2 min read

P Sainath has been documenting stories from rural India for over three decades now. He is the founder-editor of People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI), a digital archive dedicated to people whose voices and stories don’t always find space in mainstream media. Sainath previously covered the rural beat at The Hindu, and his on ground reportage has drawn significant attention to the country’s farmers and the challenges they face. The Ramon Magsaysay award recipient is also the author of ‘Everybody Loves A Good Drought’ and the creator of two documentary films.

Following the farmers’ marches taking place across India, Sainath and PARI have been working towards generating awareness at both a public and government level. We recently had the opportunity to host an event in collaboration with PARI, where Sainath addressed the agrarian crisis, India’s water woes, and what we can do about it. Here are snippets from his talk.

1. Unpacking the agrarian crisis | 2.5 min

2. Defining drought and monsoon | 2 min

3. Questioning where agricultural credit is really going | 3 min

4. Deconstructing India’s water crisis | 9 min

5. Decoding farmer suicides | 6.5 min

6. Explaining what the middle class can do | 6.5 min

This talk was held at Dextrus, and sponsored by the Harish & Bina Shah Foundation.

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India Development Review (IDR) is India’s first independent online media platform for leaders in the development community. Our mission is to advance knowledge on social impact in India. We publish ideas, opinion, analysis, and lessons from real-world practice.