“Even sand is delicious when you starve for months….”

Fragile, febrile bodies
Breathing in, the
sweltering heat
Baked in the sun,
covered with mud
Swollen bellies,
clay filled stomachs.

The sun
Begs for thirst, and the moon
Starves for food
Every day
A death sentence
While they silently wait
For a permanent end.

This piece talks about the situation in southern Madagascar, where three years of prolonged drought and famine have forced people to eat a mixture of white clay.

According to the WFP (World Food Programme), eating a mixture of clay and tamarind has led to “swollen bellies”. Droughts are not uncommon in this area, but due to climate change, there have been no rains for the past three years.

Climate change is no longer a trivial matter. With droughts hitting underdeveloped countries, fires raging in the US and floods enveloping Indian cities and European countries, it is high time for us to check ourselves.

There is no second option.

– Ishita Gupta, Amity International School, Noida


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