For people working in the water-challenged areas of Bihar and Jharkhand in eastern India, it’s virtually impossible to avoid certain questions. How do families staying in flood-prone areas, contaminated-groundwater areas, drought-affected areas and water-abundant and water-scarce areas survive the consequent effects?
The clues lie in understanding the lifestyle of the people living in these areas, which is sometimes best recounted by capturing images across seasons. These photographs often bring forth how preparation and confrontation of a challenged environment is initiated at the household level.
The realisation that households are the basic unit of adaptation to climate change leads to another nagging question: who in the family shoulders the main responsibility? This photo journey has minimised the misleading generalisations about roles and responsibilities within the households across the different phases of disaster — before, during and after.
It is a sharp realisation that women, children and the elderly experience the entire sequence of the challenging environment and, since they are generally on their own (due to the dominant trend of migration among men in the region), the women and children are solely responsible for developing relevant safety mechanisms for the survival of the household.
All images by Eklavya Prasad