The year 2020 has been a nightmare for all of us. The funny part is that we have just passed half the year, other half is still an enigma. I’m very sure everyone is just waiting for this time of the year Dec 31st 2020 11:59 PM. This year has been so unpredictable, just hoping that 11:59 doesn’t turn into 11:60 PM!
The He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (in this case it’s him the pandemic C) has already done enough damage to this world and our nation, and which is still a big threat without any vaccination. Before even we could breathe from that, another attack which is even more deadlier. If you haven’t read about it yet here, this is what I’m talking about.
Worst locust attack in the decade:
Initially the locust attack was first reported in Rajasthan on April 11, soon this got spread like a wild fire in various other parts as well. The most vulnerable group in our society being the farmers, and such situations only made it worst for them. Their vulnerability is something that many of the Governments that has been in power has created. Now the nature is also giving its hand to make it more worse.
If at all Corona and Locust had a one on one, it’s gonna look like this!
Meme credits : Omrajguru on Twitter.
For the next few minutes you are going to read a story on locusts and it’s effects.
The entry of the villain!
Locust are a group of certain species of grasshoppers. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) categories these as the oldest migratory pests in the world, with the desert locust being the “most devastating” of them all. These insects are harmless until their population is minimal in number. However, under certain conditions they reproduce at high rate and this changes the behaviour of these insects. They start damaging the crops at a rate that is very difficult to control. This is known as gregarisation.
These insects usually fly towards the deserts after breeding, however due to climatic changes, the pandemic, Amphan and many more caused them to fly towards the green land this year. Flying in search of food, these insects can easily feed on food required for a population of 35000 people at once. As per studies it is seen that these insects can cover 150 Kms every single day ranging from 40-80 million adult locusts per square kilometre.
Too technical is it? Here’s an illustration as to how the locust behaved to attack the crops
Meme credits: theindianidiot.com
This story is set up in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
Introducing the hero of this story
They are not just the heroes in this story but are real life heroes as well. The food cultivated from them, with a lot of struggle feeds this nation. However, ending up being victims in most of the climaxes. This locust villain has attacked the summer crops like the moong, cotton, Rabi etc. which yields them the most in a year. To add on to this crisis is the lockdown that is due to the pandemic.
One of the media (credits: downto earth.org.in by Ishan kukreti) had contacted a farmer in Rajasthan and this is what happened. One evening the farmer sitting in his house thinking it’s going to be another normal evening is when a 5×8 km big swarm of locusts covered the sky over the village like a dust storm. Unable to understand what’s happening, he calls other farmer friends and immediately reaches the farm. Only to see an horrifying scene of his cotton crops being completely destroyed. The whole village was alive trying to chase these unknown things away. They tried using firecrackers and banging utensils, paying no results.
Later, the agriculture department was called for help. However, it was too late for them to arrive at the spot. By then, most of his and other farmers crops in the village as well as near by villages had lost their crops due to these locust swarms.
Can you imagine the face in the picture below?
Farmers don’t need empathy, they need solutions.
Picture credits: Times of India.
So they have attacked now. What’s Next?
Finally reaching the climax:
The farmers, locusts and the government:
The Government has stepped in to fight against the threat caused by the locust. The Locusts Warning Organisation (LWO) works closely with the government in putting an end to these attacks in India. The farmers are being supported on the ground by the government, One hundred twenty spray vehicles, 90 fire brigades, survey vehicle sprayers, and drones have been deployed to combat the insects. However, no relief funds have been announced yet but one can expect it shortly as per sources.
The government has set up control rooms to inform the movements of the locusts attack. Also instructions have been directed to the agricultural institutes and pest management centres to provide the required assistance. This locust attack has also been prevalent in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Every summer India and Pakistan set up meetings in order to exchange information on locusts.
In many countries they have resorted to eating these swarms , they are of high nutritional value and with twice the amount of protein than other kinds of meat. There was a group of locusts called the Mountain locust that got extinct, whose extinction is considered to be the biggest ecological enigma. The only continents that are free of locusts are North America and Antarctica.
If Locust entered China!
Meme credits: Meme Sena on Facebook.
Meanwhile if you are in the prejudice that this story is getting to an end, sorry you are wrong. There have been predictions that during late June and July locusts attacks might occur again. We should just be prepared to face it, maybe even become stronger to encounter many such issues because the year is 2020.
Summarising this with a game, let’s play
The 2020 apocalypse BINGO