“The heat, it makes the people lazy.”

This one is a statement I have heard a few times about Tamil Nadu. Though it is a generalisation, there are many well trodden paths of climate that lead development the wrong way.

What with Vellore’s 50 degree summer, the wall of heat itself is deadly. People can’t leave the house in summer, and the lowest temperature our coordinator has ever felt was 12 degrees Celsius. Imagine any work outside. Imagine offices without electricity. Imagine working hard and being able to give 100%. I can’t.

The temperature also contributes to a terrible water shortage. The Vellore river basin has been dry for 15years, and every summer there’s a long wait for the rains. Karnataka’s dam also has something to do with this but both states are experiencing shortage and of course the state upriver would try to compensate. Groundwater’s dried up below the government drilling capacities so only private companies can access deep groundwater supplies and drive prices sky high for the locals.

This means there’s little water for personal use and huge strain on development: Tamil Nadu is heavily dependent on its Sambar crop. There doesn’t seem much hope for change in the dried out state.

“With rain comes movement, I embrace the rain.” – Local NGO

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