The myth of Kalahandi
the skeletonised frame of 68-year-old Manglu Bhoi doesn't shiver with the chilly spring breeze on a bright February morning, but with the thought that he has to walk for two kilometres to fetch a bucket of water. A resident of India's poorest district, Balangir, he is one of the million people from some 9,000 villages in western Orissa who walk for five to seven kilometres everyday, many returning hopelessly the next day as all major rivers and rivulets have dried up. They scavenge the dry riverbed and wait for water. Wherever there is water, riots break out. And Bhoi has every reason to shiver: monsoon is still four months away.
For over 100 years, the undivided districts of Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput