Subadh Kumar Nayak

Bhubaneswar: As farmers in Odisha continue to reel under severe drought-like condition amidst rainfall deficit due to erratic monsoon this year, people in several villages of the State are now organising special religious rituals like puja and yajnas to please the Rain God.

As per the Meteorological department, the State received less than the normal rainfall this monsoon. The weathermen informed that Odisha has received 31 per cent deficit rainfall till today as such water level in major dams and reservoirs has dipped significantly.

To cope up with this, people were seen praying for rain as the deficit rainfall has massively affected farming in several parts of the State.

Hundreds of farmers of five villages in Jatgarh gram panchayat under Komna Tehsil of Nuapada district conducted yajnas with a hope that the Almighty will answer their prayers for rain.

“We finished the paddy sowing activities in the month of June. Now they are ready for plantation. However, we are unable to plant them as there is no water in our paddy fields. So we decided to conduct special prayers,” said Premananda Gadia, a farmer.

“Peasants from different villagers including Beherapada, Suripada and Jatgarh are taking part in the prayer ceremony. We are hopeful that Lord Indra would answer our prayers. We also request the state government to take some steps in this regard,” said Siba Majhi, Jatgarh village head.

Speaking about the special prayer ceremony, Saroj Kumar Tripathy, a priest said, “There is no rainfall even though we are in the ‘Shravan Masa’ after Ashadha Masa. Therefore, the farmers are praying for rain. We believe that there will be rainfall soon and the farmers can begin the cultivation work.”

Meanwhile, the State government has directed Hirakud and other dam authorities to decrease hydro-power generation in view of the deficient rainfall.

Not only Odisha, several parts of India too witnessed deficit rainfall during this monsoon season. The Indian Met department informed that the country witnessed 19% deficit monsoon rainfall. While 15 places recorded normal rainfall, 21 places across the country recorded deficient rainfall. Saurashtra is said to have witnessed 58 per cent less rainfall than the normal rainfall. In contrary, Lakshadweep recorded 17 per cent more rainfall than the average.