West Bengal: Water scarcity forces people to ration drinking water

Annapurna Kumari has been drinking a little water in the past few years, and whatever water she drinks is polluted and unhygienic. Just like her, the 200 other residents of Darikuri Dolashal village, West Bengal, are falling sick in the face of acute water scarcity. So severe is the problem, that the residents are now rationing their water intake throughout the day. In the current day, even as India inches towards progress, the country yet has one of the highest numbers of people in the world, without access to water.

The residents, mainly tribals, walk 6 km a day, to fetch water for drinking and daily chores. "We can carry water only worth one day, so we stretch that much water for two days," says Renuka Hasda to Annapurna, who is also a Video Volunteers community correspondent. The matters only get worse in the hot, humid summers when the temperatures are soaring. The lack of drinking adequate water has created the onset of several diseases and illnesses such as severe dehydration, constipation, diarrhoea, urinary tract infections, among many others. In India, diarrhoea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily.

There are no water pumps in the village and the single well of the village has been dry for the 3-4 years due to a broken water pump. The many complaints to the district authorities just made the matters worse. The repairing team sent by the administration repaired a private well of the village Sarpanch, ignoring the community well. Was it a case of discrimination, or was it a clear overlook on the part of the team, is a matter the villagers and Annapurna have not been able to find out.

The 200 residents of continue to suffer due to the lack of these basic amenities such as water. Inequities in water availability are a reflection of unequal development within the country. Let us help our fellow citizens find a solution for the water scarcity. Call Piyali Mandal, the Block Development Officer of the area on the number +91-9434753756 and demand that the village gets a hand pump. Remember, water is a necessity for them, just like us.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Annapurna Kumari.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges.

See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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