Shokha Ram Das (65) stares at his five bigha land in Dumdumi village under Chharra gram panchayat, nearly 12 km south of Purulia town, awaiting the rains. With just 2 per cent cultivation till date, nearly 280,000 hectares of agricultural land in the district is lying vacant, facing a near drought situation.

Hundreds of farmers wake up every morning, hoping for a downpour.