At this time of the year, farmers should have been busy planting paddy. But, drought has left farmers in misery. They are just looking at the sky expecting rain.

Due to lack of rainfall, farmers have not been able to plant paddy. Paddy planted by some has wilted. Some districts, including Sarlahi and Rautahat, have not received enough rainfall. It has not rained for the last two weeks.

Some paddy fields have become parched and this has left farmers worried. Farmers have used pump sets for paddy plantation and irrigation.

Peasants in the southern belt of Rautahat rely on rainwater to plant paddy. But, lack of rainwater has left them worried.

Farmer Ramlal Das complained that some farmers had planted the paddy in haste, but the paddy fields had parched and paddy plants wilted for lack of rainfall.

Peasants of Durga Bhagawati, Madhav Narayan, Yamunamai, Dewahi Gonahi, Paroha, Gaur, Ishnath, Baudhimai, and Maulapur are waiting for rainfall in Rautahat.

No different is the plight of farmers in Sarlahi. Many farmers have not been able to start paddy plantation for lack of rainwater.

"Lack of rainwater has stopped paddy plantation," according to Agriculture Knowledge Centre Malangawa Chief Kamladev Prasad Kusahawa. Only fifty per cent of the paddy had been planted till mid-July, Kusahawa added.

Excessive heat coupled with drought has thrown life out of gear in the Tarai. The temperature has soared up to 40 degrees Celsius. The scorching heat has kept people indoors.

Farmers and daily wage earners have failed to come out of their home to work. Market places and streets wear a deserted look, especially at noon.

Doctors have advised people to drink enough water and eat fresh food and vegetables.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 18, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.