Sunday, 6 October 2019

Ichhasakti - Then and Now

Some thousands of years back...

In the Kingdom of "Sakti", there was a king named "Icchasakti"...

He was pro-people. He did a lot of work for the betterment of citizens.

The main problem in his Kingdom was heavy rains and flooding and sometimes there was no rain causing the drought. So he thought about seriously and came up with a plan. He called his ministers and explained them. Then the ministers started working on it.

The geography of the Kingdom consisted of hilly areas and coastal plains.

Miles long water reservoirs were made in multiple places in the Kingdom. Two reservoirs of the hilly areas were connected with each other through pipelines. As you can see in the below drawing, the pipelines were connected by two pipelines in such a way that the extra water in one reservoir will be discharged to the other reservoir.
The reservoirs of the coastal plains were also connected with each other in the similar fashion.

But the main/central reservoir of the hilly area was connected with the central reservoir of coastal plains with only one pipeline because water would flow from hilly to plain land.

And this solved the water problem when there was huge rains in the hilly areas and no rains in the coastal plains.

Then, stone pillars were erected and slabs were placed on it. As in the below drawing, the whole construction was in the form of a slope connecting the central reservoir of the coastal plains and the central reservoir of the hilly area. The necessary structure was made over the central reservoir of coastal plains to lift the water and pour on the slope. A conveyor belt was attached. There were multiple buckets attached to the conveyor belt. A shaft and two handles were made on two sides of it to rotate the conveyor belt. When the handles were rotated, the buckets attached to the belt used to lift water from the reservoir and pour on the slabs and the water would flow to the central reservoir in the hilly area.

And this solved the water problem when there was huge rains in the coastal plains and no rains in the hilly areas.

But, when there was huge rains throughout the Kingdom, the above solution was of no use. Still, people were happy that at least there was a solution when there was no rains.
Thousands of years passed. There Kingdom is not there. Some of the family members of the King Icchasakti became the landlords. A girl named "Sakti" was the successor of the King. She had the similar qualities like the King Ichhasakti.
Due to sea water, there was massive coastal erosion and people used to vacate their villages and move to a new place.
Sakti saw from her childhood that there were three types trees which could control the erosion of the coast.
When she became the head of the landlords, she called for a meeting of all landlords and explained them what to do for solving the issue.
Then the plantation drive started near the coast.
As in the drawing below, Mangrove trees were planted near the place where the sea water touched the coast. The mangrove trees would hold the soil tightly and reduce the force of the sea waves.
Next to it towards the mainland, casuarina trees were planted, which would hold the soil tightly.
Next to it towards the mainland, cashew trees were planted, which would hold the soil tightly and also increase the production of cashew by giving a livelihood to the people.

And this move reduced the coastal erosion.

When Sakti was 100 years old, her grandchildren became politicians and some of them were ministers as well.
One day, Sakti told her minister grandson to take her to sea beach as she wanted to see the plantation she initiated when she was young. Grandson took her to the beach. Sakti was disheartened to see that most of the trees were cut and the sea water started eating the landmass. She asked "Boy, What is this? Who did all this? As a minister, why are you not protecting the trees? Can you imagine how many people will have to leave their houses because of the coastal erosion?". Grandson tried to avoid the questions. But, when Sakti insisted, he replied "We are here do politics, not social service. If we will solve all the issues, then we will not have anything to promise in the next election".

Sakti remained silent.
A thought came to her mind. *There was the King Icchasakti. The name literally means "Will power". But that will-power is now completely lost among the current generation in her family.*

***This is a story of fiction.***

Ashish Kumar Nayak

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