Villagers Desperate For Water

The scarcity and unhealthy state of water in Ujawani puts the inhabitants in an hazardous situation. The 2001 Census of India reported that 31.8% of households in India did not have access to safe drinking water. Ujawani, in Madhya Pradesh, is part of this sad figure. Indeed, water is alarmingly scarce in the village. The only sources of water available for the 200 families are a hand pump and one privately-owned well. The village used to have a well that ensured the supply of water for the village. But negligence and bad maintenance led to the closing of the well. Thus, villagers are now fetching water from a private well, originally built for irrigation and cattle needs. This water is unhygienic and causes frequent disease among the villagers. Rakesh Khanna, our community correspondent in Madwani, gives us scary information: “People are fetching water from this well because they have no other option, but they know the water is unhealthy. Diseases are recurrent; people suffer from stomach ache, from diarrhea. In the past few years, some cases of cholera were reported." The villagers’ lot still worsens in summer, when the well and the hand-pump dry up. Then, they have to walk to the neighboring area in search of water. Water becomes all the more scarce at that time of the year, and is insufficient to fulfill any basic needs. Rakesh Khanna was born and raised in Ujawani, and the situation of the village still matters to him. He would like to show his video to the villagers and to the district officials, with the hope that water will ultimately be in plenty in Ujawani.

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IndiaUnheard is the world's first ever community news service where news is produced by the poor and the marginalized communities of India.