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As the village water crisis takes a whole new level, making farmers bitter and starting fights over water, the women found a way.
Lives of Indian rural women
A recent study tells us that a woman from the village walks approximately 14,000 km per annum to collect water for herself and her family. They spend most their lives transporting 30-40 litres of water everyday with very little time left for other activities – like studying or spending more time with children and family. But like every cloud has a silver lining, this gave way to its own benefits altogether.
When all else failed, the rural women came to rescue. They took a step ahead to solve the problem water scarcity.
In Kalikavu village near the Malapurram district of Kerala, a group of 20 women decided to take matters into their own hands. These women have discovered and dug out more than a hundred bore wells in a period of one year, after collaborating under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, to end the water crisis.
“Women have succeeded because of their unity and determination.”
– Gram Panchayat President A. Jamila
This was the best way to reply to all those who still believe that physical exertion is not a woman’s job. There were times when the women had to dig through hard rocks, and in spite of all this difficulty and suffering several injuries, they still made it.
Such initiatives are on the rise
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In a village called Langoti in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh, the women were denied assistance by the gram panchayat. So these brave women gathered there shovels and hammers and started digging their way through the water crisis. Such initiatives are increasing by the number; starting from Kerala, it has spread across other parts of the country as well.
“Even the Sarpanch and other governing bodies refused. But we told them water is our destiny and we will get it.”
– Mishri Bai (one of the women)
After witnessing all the efforts made by the women, which helped them break through the situation of water crisis, the men have finally volunteered to provide assistance to them, but the women chose to finish the task themselves. They got by with a little help from local women and government organizations.
Their efforts have not gone to waste. They have help not only themselves and their families, but also the surrounding affected areas as well. Their quest to find water has not been futile. It is because of them that basic hygiene and needs can be met. Now that they won’t have to travel long distances to fetch water anymore, they can use their energy to make money and even spend more time with their kids at home.