Paddy in the fields flutters perhaps sending sirens that it needs water but from where will it come say the people in frustration!
The irrigation and flood control department in sub division Mendhar sits on its haunches which usually is the case year after year!
The food grains giving agricultural fields hilly and mountainous are not as large and big as they are in plains and valleys but the soil is rich and the people resort to this centuries old practice of growing food for meeting their yearly requirements. Some sell a portion of it to make a little money also since that too is a requirement.
These people are not interested in bigger events such as the elaborate farm laws and agricultural reforms. Instead they were interested in growing grains for survival which was a norm ever since humans came on the planet. It was later that the commercialization aspects entered humanity.
Soil, seeds and manure are not the only requirement for a crop to grow and for that water is a necessity and this the bigger problem here in sub division Mendhar especially so in the season in which paddy is grown.
In ancient times the people would innovate and draw out water from the natural resources and guide it to their fields but with population increasing in multiple these resources too began drying up and this phenomenon occurs in summers.
For this very purpose the irrigation and flood control department was set up in previously the state and now union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
I told you above that in plains and valleys this is not much of a problem but in hilly and mountainous terrain it is and at the moment the same predicament stares at the paddy growers here in the sub division with no solution in sight!
Right from my childhood I have seen people in my neighborhood in Harni working in the tracts of land which they have owned as their ancestral lineage. Rice and maize are the staple crops interspersed with greens and other types of vegetable which are fibrous as well as tuberous. The traditions also taught them how to innovate and become knowledgeable as regards the latest innovations, the latest technology for tilling being used in the field of agriculture, implements, plant diseases, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers and so forth. Though plenty of literature is available on agriculture now, I have realized here that the people are not that aware though Mendhar is developing fast. Deep in the interiors the thinking still is inclined to primitive knowledge but amazingly still the people survive and thrive against all odds.
The word agriculture, after all, does not mean agriscience, much less agribusiness. The people here in Mendhar are not interested in this though it may be very useful in future. At the moment self sufficiency throughout the year is the primary aim for those who are totally dependent on their lands for giving them all important food to eat that results in their survival. Cultivation for them is at the root of the sense both of culture and of cult. The ideas of tillage and worship are thus joined in culture. To live, to survive on the earth, to care for the soil, and to worship, all are bound in their roots and they take pride in the same. The ancestors taught us that eating is an agricultural act and this is inbuilt in the cultural traditions of the people in Mendhar and that even the younger generation follows but in these modern times having land and seeds is not enough. There is more to tilling lands, sowing the seeds and cultivating crops. Times have changed and so has the way of living and so it is but natural that like other things the art of agriculture too has changed! Definitely it has all over the nation. It has to be in Mendhar too.
Though the farmers here in the subdivision are making use of all facilities made available by the government yet one thing keeps bothering them time and again during the paddy season and that is water which is so necessary for this crop. For that a department has been set up which other than looking into the irrigation needs of the farmers in Mendhar is doing everything else. Wasting their time and doing nothing is the most lucrative option for them. Instead they should be looking into the following aspects:
Of all the works of civilization that interfere with the natural water distribution system, irrigation has been by far the most pervasive and powerful. This aspect has yet to get drilled into the mindset of the officials here in the sub division.
Smart Irrigation technique is something unique and really smart that has come in and this serves to recognize advances in irrigation technology and practices that produce not only more but also higher quality plants with less water. This could be incorporated if a thought is given to it.
The man who has grit enough to bring about the afforestation or the irrigation of a country is not less worthy of honor than its conqueror. This is a thought that the department has to promote since both the things are deeply ingrained as the working mechanisms in this institution goes provided someone is serious about his/her job. In Mendhar probably no one is.
Let us be practical, a few little flowers will spring up briefly in the dry gully through which torrents of water pass occasionally. But it is steady streams that bring thick and needed crops. In the agriculture that has to do with nurturing attributes, flash floods and rains are no substitute for regular irrigation. The times have changed, no one is sure as to when the rains would come down courtesy the humans who have destroyed the climate itself.
Whatever said and done irrigation problem in sub division Mendhar will only increase if the department does not act now. They have to dig in deeper and find out the mechanism as to how things can improve because water as such is going to get diminished with coming times so whatever is there has to be used appropriately and options are running out. So getting away from traditional thinking and going for new creative innovations should be the order of the day which sadly speaking as of now is not the case.
But why am I saying so? This is because the people are having a situation here as their paddy crop is suffering for the lack of water which is so necessary. They are pleading that the officials should listen to them and do something to pull out water from the Gursai-Harmutha canal Mendhar in district Poonch. It has to be done by the department but they are busy in some other frivolous events which may matter to them but for the people they are meaningless. Led by President all India Kisan Mazdoor Union Mendhar segment, Majid Khan Bobby appealed to Deputy Commissioner Poonch to look into the matter because it is serious since the yield of the crop is at stake. Hopefully the same would be done is what the people are hoping for.
Just a little advice and point to ponder over for the officials in the irrigation and flood control department in Mendhar, knowledge has always been important, of course. The ancient Egyptians did not raise the stones for the pyramids relying on the incantations of their gods. The waters in the irrigation canals of the great Indus Civilization did not flow according to the laws of ignorance. Knowledge has always been power and wealth. The Romans gave us sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health. If these civilizations worked and created unbelievable things all in usage today without the prior knowledge what are we doing with volumes of the same available especially so on the irrigation front? We have yet to see a classic example of that in UT Jammu and Kashmir!