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A Naked Plea For Rain

Female rice farmers are plowing their fields at night in the nude to please the rain God during a dry spell in southwestern Nepal, a news report said Sunday.

A 35-year-old farmer, Ambika Tharu, said she and other women were daring to bare all for the rain God because of a delay in the annual monsoon season and the need for precipitation for their rice crops.

"My mother-in-law said the God would be pleased and make rainfall if women till the land naked," Tharu told the Himalayan Times newspaper.

The delay of the monsoon rains, which usually begin in the first week of June in Nepal, have prevented farmers from planting rice.

Weather forecasters in the capital Katmandu ? 300 miles northeast of Baijapur village where the naked farmers are appealing for rain ? said the situation is expected to improve in the next few days.