In a state where villages are rationing water due to the early onset of summer, residents of Madhya Pradesh's Ghusiya village have resorted to risking their lives for the life-source.
In a video posted by news agency ANI, residents of the village are seen walking long distances only to arrive at a well with barely any water in it.
A woman scales the wall of the well in a saree and is not supported by a rope or harness while others look on. A second girl in a yellow kurta is also seen inside the well and climbing out.
The bottom of the well is littered with small puddles of water, as residents crouch over the little water that remains. They scoop it up with small bowls into buckets suspended by rope.
Furious over the severe water crisis that the people of the village, located in Dindori district which is a predominantly tribal district, have been facing for the last several years, villagers have decided to boycott Gram Panchayat elections until every household in the village gets a connection to tap drinking water, ANI reported.
Speaking to ANI, locals expressed their disappointment with political leaders.
Kusum, a villager of Baro tola in Ghusiya said, "We have been facing a water crisis for a long time. The administration has been paying no heed to our crisis. Government employees and political leaders only come during elections. This time we have decided not to give votes until we have a proper water supply. Our only demand is water supply from the government."
"Govt employees and political leaders only come during elections. This time we have decided not to give votes until we have a proper water supply. We have to go down the well to collect water. There are 3 wells, all have almost dried, no hand pumps have water," said locals pic.twitter.com/lJvagevwxU— ANI MP/CG/Rajasthan (@ANI_MP_CG_RJ) June 2, 2022
Another villager Rudiya Bai said the wells are almost dry in the village.
"Be it day or night, we have to go down into the well to collect water. There are three wells in the village and all are mostly dry. No hand pumps have water. The situation remains like this for twelve months," Rudiya Bai told ANI.
Ground zero reports of the Ghusiya panchayat reveal that the Nal Jal scheme is far from becoming a reality here and people are struggling for every drop of water. The Narmada River is around 3 km from the village.
The BJP-led government in Madhya Pradesh runs the Nal Jal scheme to supply tap drinking water to every household. The two assembly constituencies in Dindori district are represented by Congress MLAs.
84 blocks out of 313 in Madhya Pradesh are facing serious water shortage, and drinking water remains out of reach for lakhs of people in the state.