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Unbelievable pictures of Thar desert after the rain

Updated Oct 21, 2016 01:17pm

The annual rain shower is a blessing for people living in the Thar desert.

The desert is suddenly buzzing with activity as people become occupied with cultivating the land as the dull, arid landscape transforms into a luscious green.

With a population of 1.4 million people and five million livestock, the Tharparkar district is spread over 19638 sq kilometres in southern Sindh.

Known for its rich culture, natural beauty, and peace, Thar is a fertile desert and the livelihood of Thari people depends on rainfall agriculture.

Farmers come back out as rain transforms the desert.
Farmers come back out as rain transforms the desert.

This year, nature worked wonders as rain showered across the desert after three years.

The desert resembled a forest as it became alive with trees, grass, herbs, and crops.

78-year-old Devji, a farmer in Chelhar, sowed seeds right after the first rainfall and has high hopes that this year will bring about a big harvest.

He invested Rs40,000 in seeds, ploughing and other expenditures for 12 acres of land.

Tractors are becoming a common trend as the use of animals for farming is becoming obsolete.

Ploughing now takes four to five hours, compared to the four days it used to take before.

Traditional methods of ploughing are slowly disappearing.
Traditional methods of ploughing are slowly disappearing.

But with technological advancement comes some environmental cost. Farming expert Bharumal explains how tractors destroy small trees, bushes, and herbs, which form an important part of the desert ecosystem.

I saw an old man throwing small stones to keep the birds away from crops in a field near Islamkot. The 55-year-old farmer, Jawaro, thinks one more rain shower is necessary to have a big harvest this year.

But problems remain. Youth activist Govind Mantharani explains how the seed prices rise just before the rain, resulting in an increase of profits for the suppliers but a loss for the farmers.

Jawaro hopes for a good harvest this year thanks to the rain.
Jawaro hopes for a good harvest this year thanks to the rain.

The average income of the farmers isn’t enough to fulfill their needs, and as the population increases, there is more pressure on the meagre resources.

It leaves us with the question: how much longer can the Thari people depend on rainfall for agriculture?

Groundwater is one solution but it needs proper infrastructure.

Severe drought hit the desert continuously between 2013 to 2015.

Hundreds of children died from malnutrition and lack of healthcare.

Livestock perished, forcing people to migrate to surrounding areas in search of livelihood.

Yet, the eyes of the people of Thar remain fixed on the skies, praying for a miracle.

The feeling of raindrops falling onto my hand is always special
The feeling of raindrops falling onto my hand is always special
Rain and good harvest brings happiness on the faces of children.
Rain and good harvest brings happiness on the faces of children.
It is also a time for celebration...
It is also a time for celebration...
...as well as for festivities.
...as well as for festivities.
A villager seems happy with his crop.
A villager seems happy with his crop.
Watermelons are one of several crops grown in the desert.
Watermelons are one of several crops grown in the desert.
Flowers grow in the desert...
Flowers grow in the desert...
...bringing colour to the landscape.
...bringing colour to the landscape.
Crops ready to be harvested.
Crops ready to be harvested.
Animals are still used for farm work, but tractors are becoming more common.
Animals are still used for farm work, but tractors are becoming more common.
The desert's landscape has totally changed after the rains...
The desert's landscape has totally changed after the rains...
... as trees and shrubs dot the area.
... as trees and shrubs dot the area.
The Thar is also know as the Great Indian Desert.
The Thar is also know as the Great Indian Desert.
The people of Thar depend on rain for their livelihood.
The people of Thar depend on rain for their livelihood.
The area is home to millions of livestock.
The area is home to millions of livestock.
It is also home to different animal species as well.
It is also home to different animal species as well.
A variety of beautiful birds can be seen here
A variety of beautiful birds can be seen here
There are even peacocks roaming around, bringing vibrant colours to the desert backdrop
There are even peacocks roaming around, bringing vibrant colours to the desert backdrop
The desert has its own magic once the sun goes down.
The desert has its own magic once the sun goes down.

All photos are by the author