Water is a precious commodity, especially sufficient clean drinking water. And this problem is acute when there is a scarcity and you have to fight for your share of drinking water.
This is what happens in Bhauro Adarsh Village (Model Village), in Bhandra block of Lohardanga district, Jharkhand, India. These Model Villages are result of a Government project - The Holistic Village Development Program (HVDP) under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), mandates that each Member of Parliament adopts one village from their constituency to transform that village into a model village. The parameters for these villages are based on multidimensional aspects of water, agriculture, gender and health issues etc.
The basic facilities for a quality living are missing in this Model Village of Bhauro. When you enter the village, though there are proper concrete drains on both sides of the road, inside the village there are no traces of any kind of drainage system. The sewage water flows on the road from the houses unabashedly. And there are heaps of garbage everywhere.
There are two ‘Jal Minar’ (Water Tanks) in the village. One is electrically operated, the other one is solar powered. Ironically, resident Shubha Devi says - ‘We need to literally fight for our share of water every morning’. She has been married in this village for the last two decades and has been facing the water problems since then. On better days, Shubha Devi can collect 2- 4 buckets of water, and sometimes they do not even get a bucket of water.
Another related problem is that they have to go to the open fields to defecate, because usage of latrines requires lots of water. Use of latrines drastically reduces their daily collected water, and if the family consists of four or more members, it gets more difficult to use the latrines.
One person mentioned that due to the low powered solar pump, the water does not get pumped properly, and in cloudy weather, the water does not get pumped at all. The locals get agitated if they do not get water in the morning. The caretaker of the solar water tank got manhandled once, early in the morning.
They have complained to the Block Development Officer about their scarcity of water. Acknowledging their complaint, the Block office had sent one person to enquire about the problem from the Village Headman. The villagers had paid 350 Rupees for these water connection installations and monthly they pay 50 Rupees as Water Bill.
The water comes through pipes only in the morning. It gets distributed on three routes in the village and all the three routes get half an hour of water supply.
“To get the more water we need to rely on the well and the borewell because the tap water supply does not suffice. The borewell is a kilometre away in the fields - its time consuming to get water from there and is a physically daunting job” - Shubha Devi
When community correspondent Saniyaro Devi was walking in the village, she could see groups of women making arrangements for collecting water, keeping the pots on a line near the tap and looking at the tap with expectation.
The villagers are writing an application to the Block Development Officer and the Public Health Engineering division, once again, so that their daily struggle of collecting water will be taken care of. Let us hope that we can create an impact by sharing this video and make authorities look into this matter with urgency.
“Video Volunteers gave me a platform to go the extra mile for people”
Avijit Adhikary is a journalist with nearly 8000 days of field experience till date. In the past two decades, he has witnessed the ebb and flow of the media industry in India, with ripples felt in his region too. This includes the rise of digital media, the decline of print...
Scarce amenities near a tourist spot
In Gram Panchayat Ratega (Bijakasa), Bastar District, the Government has declared a Waterfall as a tourist spot. But in and around that area for about 5 kilometres, the residents are facing acute water shortage and other basic amenities, such as all weather roads etc.