Broken Hand Pump, Govt. Apathy Cripple Water Supply

Summer has hit early this year and rural Odisha is in a panic. The state is prone to heat waves with temperatures that scorch in the late 40 degree Celsius.  Natives will tell you that in these dog days water is the only respite. "If you aren't drinking a glass of water every 15 minutes you will not make it through a day." The state frequently sees deaths due to dehydration and heat strokes. But despite this common knowledge, the officials seem to be in a no mood to take action. All that the 50 adivasi families of Mankadiasahi village, Deogarh district are asking for is that their village hand pump be repaired. But even after months of appeal to the authorities, nothing has changed. IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Dasarathi Behra, a resident of village, documents his community's crippling water woes. The population of the village is primarily adivasi. Ten years ago the government had given the community a plot of land to stay with basic infrastructure like schools, handpumps etc. There were three handpumps in the village of which 1 was constructed inside the school compound and the other two in the neighborhood. One of the handpumps in the neighborhood has stopped functioning. The people have no resort but to resort to the other two. Lines have got longer. At peak timing, one has to wait for more than 30 minutes. Women and children especially, have to make time and travel to the pumps to draw water for their basic needs. The school is out of bounds between 10 to 4 when the school is open and during that period the entire village has only one handpump to resort it. Even as an alternative, there is no source of water like a pond or lake nearby. All of which could easily be avoided if the authorities could fix the defunct hand pump. Which if it was a middle class Mumbai neighborhood would have already happened by now. But in an adivasi village in rural Odisha, people continue to wait in line for water. As if it is just another day in rural India. Call to Action: Call the Block Development Officer at Tileibani Block, Deogarh District on +918895450900. Tell him that you have seen a video about the broken hand pump at Mankadiasahi Village. Demand that he repair it at once.

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