Where there’s a will, there’s water!

May 5th, 2009 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sujeet Kumar
Raipur, May 5 (IANS) Faced with acute water shortage and tired of awaiting their turn at the municipality tap, women in one of the slums pockets in this Chhattisgarh capital decided to dig a well and ended up digging three in a month.

“What’s the point of just accusing the authorities? We know that they can’t help us out every day. Rather than blaming them for not coming to our rescue to provide water at a time the temperature is going beyond 46 degrees Celsius, we tried out something adventurous and have dug three wells,” Uma Deep, a resident of Raipur’s Jagjivan Ram ward, told IANS.

The ward has about 10,000 residents and the slum dwellers earlier had to spend virtually all day at a Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) tap to ferry water in small utensils.

“We are daily wage workers, but every year from March till mid-June, all male and female members spend the whole day bringing water from the corporation tap or waiting for the RMC water tanker that is rarely sent to us,” Triloka Verma, 58, told IANS.

“If we spend the whole day managing water, we will earn nothing; so we decided to free the male members from water ferrying assignments and allow them to go for daily-wage work and female members tried out an idea to dig a well,” Verma said.

She added: “The slum women began digging a well in the first week of April and by the end of the month we dug below 20 feet where we found a water source and now we have dug two more wells.”

“Three wells in a month and a permanent solution to our long-time water crisis, this is what our women achieved in the past one month,” said Anirudh Deep, a male resident of the ward.

Deep said he can now concentrate on his daily job as a caterer rather than bothering too much about the water crisis.

The ward corporator, Sunil Bandre, said: “The majority of residents of Raipur are facing acute water crisis, including several posh colonies too, but the slum residents of Jagjivan Ram ward have excess water, and now they are inviting their friends of other colonies to use their wells.”

In a bid to reward the enterprising women, Bandre has donated a few hundred bricks to the slum women who have made a small platform around one of the wells where they can bathe and wash clothes and utensils.

(Sujeet Kumar can be contacted at sujeet.k@ians.in)

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