Lok Sabha Election 2024: MP Villagers Walk Miles To Fetch Pail Of Water, Decide To Spurn Voting

Lok Sabha Election 2024: MP Villagers Walk Miles To Fetch Pail Of Water, Decide To Spurn Voting

Shortage of drinking water in villages cast a shadow on election

Rishita TomarUpdated: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 07:22 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): It’s 6am. For children, it is time to prepare for heading towards school. But 11-year-old Divyanshi and nine-year-old Neha, residents of Silari village in Sagar district, cannot afford that. They cycle to water resources far-off their houses to collect water to quench the thirst of family members.

There are many like Divyanshi and Neha who have to lumber several kilometres to fetch a pail of water. This is the reason why the hundreds of residents of Silari, Barah, Hath Khoy, Anantpura and others villages in the Deori district have decided to stay away from casting their votes in the Lok Sabha election.

The day slowly slips past. The April sun begins to rain fire. Hot dry winds raise dust. There is no respite. Villages’ search for water that begins at daybreak continues till night.

When Free Press Journal spoke to Sarpanch Jyoti Rai of Barha Village, she said that despite lodging complaints on the 181 helpline, there has been no response. Rai said, “The village has been grappling with a prolonged water shortage due to the absence of a pipeline, and even the hand pumps fail to yield water until depths of 700 ft. Every morning, the women of the village approach us, holding me accountable as the village head. Access to water is a fundamental necessity, yet we are not privileged enough to receive it”.

Yashwant Lodhi, a resident of Silari village, told the Free Press Journal that for the past 15-20 years, the village has been plagued by water scarcity, especially during summers. Despite enduring these issues for years, they decided to voice their concerns now. Politicians solicit votes from us, and it is their responsibility to fulfill our basic needs. We are not asking for the impossible; we are simply demanding access to our fundamental rights, said Lodhi.

A villager from Silari reported that a few days ago, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) visited, arranged for water tankers, and assured access to borewell water. However, when villagers go to fetch water, the Sarpanch and his associates don’t distribute it equally, favoring only those they know by sight.

When Free Press Journal spoke to Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Munauar Khan, he told us that the villagers of Silari village have lodged their complaint, and we have resolved the issue. There isn’t such a problem now; we provided tankers and dig borewells and assured the villagers that we would look into this matter.

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