A four-year drought in the north-western India state of Rajasthan has ended.
SV PULL BACK GV Women clearing field
SV Cart pulled by camel
GV PAN Parched field
GV Farmers ploughing and tilling fields (3 shots)
GVs Villages (2 shots)
GV PAN Field with grass and trees growing
GV Carpets laid out being washed in huge puddles
GV Woman at well
GV Vultures eating carcass of animal
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS COMMENTARY BY BOB WURTH OF ABC NEWS, WHICH MAY BE USED IF PREFERRED.
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Background: A four-year drought in the north-western India state of Rajasthan has ended. Heavy rain brought green to large areas of this once-parched state. Some places are still dry, but for the majority of Rajasthanis, the emergency is over. In April, this year, the drought was at its worst. The fields were barren; hardly anything grew. The population of 30 million was reduced to penury; and seven-hundred-thousand peasants were on special government relief programmes. These have been discontinued, and the peasants have returned to the land. It is being ploughed for planting of wheat later this year. Some peasants took advantage of the rain to wash their carpets. These were laid out in huge puddles, and splashed and rubbed with water. And in a field, vultures consuming an animal carcass proved that the cycle of life was once again in motion. Rajasthan, only recently so parched, has begun to resume its role as a food exporting part of India.