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Women In Drought Stricken Ghanichamata Wait In Queues For Four Hours To Get Clean Drinking Water

  • IWB Post
  •  April 25, 2019

Ghanimachata, which lies on the outskirts of the Dindori Village, 25kms from Nashik, is grappling with drought. There is just one hand pump that caters to around 5000 people in the area.

In the blistering summer heat, women have to wait for four to five hours in long queues to get drinking water. But during summer, that hand pump dries up as well. “There is always a queue here,” says 45-year-old Durpada Dhamne, a resident of Ghanichamata, who is at the hand pump every day at 4am. “Filling up water is a daily ordeal, and goes on all day. We need to free up more than four hours of our day daily for this.”

From around mid-April to mid-June the groundwater levels decrease to almost nothing and the residents, who are mostly landless labourers, have to go door to door, asking private well-owners to let them draw water from their wells. 30-year-old Anita Dalvi, also a resident of Ghanichamata, says to Hindustan Times, “During summer months, we have to walk over a kilometre to nearby private wells. Some people let us draw water, but sometimes we have to go around asking several houses before someone agrees to help.”

Women in Ghanichamata have to work for 20 hours daily on an average. Of those twenty hours, four are dedicated to filling up water from the hand pump. Gayatri Jondhale, 35, who works on a farm, says she is at the hand pump as early as 2am every day. “I work between 9 am and 7 pm. I wrap up my chores at home by 11pm and sleep for three hours, because I have to be at the pump to fill water by 2am. Then, I am here waiting for my turn and return home only by 6am,” she says in a Hindustan Times interview.

Water availability seems to be one of the prime agendas of candidates contesting the Lok Sabha Elections and the residents of Ghanichamata have approached those politicians and governmental authorities as well, but have been disappointed. Baba Saheb Gadhve, the tehsildar of Dindori says, it is possible to provide drinking water to the area. “We have to get this checked. It is possible to provide the area with an alternate connection for water supply.”

IWB is currently collaborating with AnanTaya and MaahiRoj to work towards water conservation. Live chat sessions on the various social media websites like Twitter and Instagram are being conducted with experts daily to generate awareness for water conservation.

MaahiRoj, literally translating into Earth Day Every Day, by AnanTaya is an experience of unearthing the planet’s potential for sustainability in collaboration with like-minded designers and artisans from across the country. With a string of events that include interactive workshops, inspiring talks, films, heritage walks, water meditations, cultural tours, eco drives and the latest collection of sustainable arts, the festival this year is set to bring together experts from various fields who have considered the planet in their choices.

The 10-day festival, from April 19-29 (11am -10pm), will be held at AnanTaya, The Kanota Courtyard, Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Jaipur. Stay tuned for some more fun activities as we reach out to people to awaken their spirit of conservation.


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H/t: Hindustan Times

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