Fluorosis Cripples Rural Odisha

Ranjit Nag's Fluorosis is in such an advanced state that he is now unable to move around. The constant ache in his joints is debilitating.  He describes himself as a tree that has been eaten up by worms. Flourosis slowly and painfully eats away at the body that it attacks. Saroj Kumar Suna reports form Dangabhal village in Odisha where a high fluoride level in the ground water has resulted in many residents developing Fluorosis. "We've been drinking the water for the past 35 years and we never knew that it was bad for us. The doctor recently told us that the levels are higher than normal. The Ministers and MLAs know. They promised us clean water but nothing has been done yet " says one resident. A recent visit from the Public Work Department confirmed this when they tested the water from the village school's hand pump. They found that the Fluoride level was 2.69 mg per litre while the permissible level is 0.5 to 1 mg per litre. The residents of Danghabhal have been drinking water form the bore-well that was dug for them by the government. Eighty two percent of Indians depend on ground water to meet their various needs ranging form domestic to agricultural. Access to water continues to be one of the biggest challenges the Indian administration faces. Despite pumping in crores of Rupees into the Rural Water Supply Scheme, there are vast parts of the rural population without water. In many cases the hand-pumps and bore wells do get dug but the quality of water cannot be assured. What happens then? Shouldn't regular water testing, which is a part of the scheme, be implemented with much more vigour? After 35 years of being slowly poisoned, the residents of Danghabhal still have no answers to these questions. Their demand however is clear. They want a clean and regular drinking water supply that has been promised to them. Please call Mr Pravat Dandsena, Block Development Officer on 09437114391 and demand that he arranges for water tankers immediately so that the residents can get access to adequate, clean drinking water.

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