NEW DELHI: For women in the village of Dandichi Bari, the walk to fetch water starts at 4 a.m. every day.
A water crisis in the village of about 300 people in Nasik district, Maharashtra state, has dashed not only the hopes of women to change their grueling routine, but also the hopes of single men to find a wife, as women from other villages increasingly shunned their proposals.
The people of Dandichi Bari depend on farming during the monsoon season and contract labor in the summer, when their fields dry up and the scorching heat makes the area virtually uninhabitable.
Even then, women have to walk down to a water source before sunrise and after sunset to bring water to their parched homes, for the village well has run out. is dried up.
“Life is hard for women in this village,” Mohna Bai Wagmare, 60, told Arab News. “Every morning we (leave) at 4 a.m. and come back after an hour and a half with pots of water. We do the same in the evening too.
Wagmare moved to Dandichi Bari four decades ago, after marrying a local. But marriages with foreigners are becoming increasingly rare in the village.
“Water is the biggest problem,” said Govind Chintaman Wagmare, another resident of Dandichi Bari. “It’s true that many young people in the village find it difficult to get married from outside.”
Nitin, a young bachelor looking for a wife, told Arab News that it sometimes takes village boys at least three years to find a wife.
“The village has (attracted) notoriety for its water crisis, and parents from neighboring villages are resisting sending their daughters to Dandichi Bari,” he said, asking that his full name not be used. afraid that this would further jeopardize his marriage prospects.
Local authorities stepped in last year and provided a water tanker to serve the village during the hottest months.
“Dandichi Bari is located about 300 feet above (sea level) and the ground is such that it does not retain rainwater, which makes it difficult for us to keep (water in) the well throughout the year,” said Deepak Patil, the local administration. development manager, told Arab News. “To solve the problem, we provided a tank truck.”
But the villagers say the water tanker only provides enough water to quench their thirst, not meeting their other needs, such as washing clothes.
While local officials deny there has been a drop in marriages in the village, local activist Ramesh Thorat told Arab News the village has had “social problems” since at least 2014, when a wife fled Dandichi Bari.
“A young bride left the village (just two days) after her wedding when she experienced the severe water crisis,” he said. “Little has changed since then.”