Shimla's decrepit network of water pipes, built under British colonial rule more than 70 years ago, depends on the civil servants known as key men to open and close the valves that supply each neighborhood. The current shortage, which in May left some homes without water for 20 days, has led to such fury toward the key men — accused, in just about every neighborhood, of depriving it of its fair share — that a court ordered police protection for them.
"I was getting angry phone calls calling me everything — stupid, worthless — at one or two in the morning," said Inder Singh, 44, who has been a key man for 24 years. "I would be mobbed by dozens as I was trying to leave my home for work," he said, inserting his key — a meter-long metal contraption — into the ground to open a valve.
Tourism is the mainstay of the economy in this mountain city, which British colonial authorities made their summer capital so they could escape the brutal heat of New Delhi. But the drought — accompanied by unusually high temperatures, above 90 degrees Fahrenheit — has been so severe that in May, some residents took to Twitter to ask tourists to stay away and leave the water for local residents. Many in Shimla call it the worst shortage they can remember.
As much as 30 percent of the city's hotel bookings have been canceled since last month because of concerns about the water supply, said Sanjay Sood, president of northern India's hotel and restaurant association. Some of those reservations were canceled by tourists, others by the hotels themselves.
Water tankers have been lined up at hotels along Shimla's windy mountain roads. A slogan on one of them read, "If there is water, there is a tomorrow."
A government report said that India was experiencing the worst water crisis in its history, threatening millions of lives and livelihoods. Some 600 million Indians, about half the population, face high to extreme water scarcity conditions, with about 200,000 dying every year from inadequate access to safe water, according to the report. By 2030, it said, the country's demand for water is likely to be twice the available supply.
In Politics, a Pantsuit Isn't Required 女性參政 不必再穿褲裝
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A few months ago, when Rachel Roberts, a 44-year-old owner of yoga studios in Newport, Kentucky, decided to run for state Senate as a Democrat, her newly hired campaign manager sent her a packet of photographs of successful women and suggested she pick one and model her campaign look accordingly·
At a time of smartphones and instant imagery, when unprecedented numbers of women are running for office and often placing their gender at the center of their campaigns, it is impossible to ignore the role image can play in positioning. After all, if you are going to be the change, don't you have to look the change?
An intensive five-day course, hosted although not administered by the Yale Law School, it helps prepare women to run for office, get ready to help others run for office and establish political networks. The course includes seminars in how to do a stump speech, budget for media and direct mail, raise funds, determine voter turnout — and decide how to deal with the pantsuit. Or, as one two-hour session was titled, Dress to Win.
It is a complicated question in a world in which for a long time the unspoken presumption was that the best approach was a man's suit in a different color, and one in which women have long chafed against being judged on appearance. Indeed, many women resent that it is asked at all.
"The reaction is always mixed," said Karen Petel, referring to the style session. Petel is the founder of a namesake political consultancy, the former political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a board member of the campaign school.
"There's no doubt how you present yourself matters, but we have so little time and there is so much to cover," said Shannon Lynch, a 26-year-old producer of a political talk show on Sirius XM in Washington who was at the campaign school to test her own appetite for office. "Do we really have to spend two hours on this?"