Sunday, April 29, 2007

14-yr-old girl digs well to solve water woes

Harda (Madhya Pradesh), April 29

Exposing the Madhya Pradesh Government’s apathy on water shortage, a 14-year-old girl has dug a 22-feet deep well, so that her mother does not have to walk miles to fetch water. People in the town of Harda watched as a frail Reshma lowered herself into the well with a rope. Her efforts paid off finally when she stepped into a pool of water at the bottom of the well.

"My parents were really worried due to water shortage in the area. The lone hand pump in the area was too far off and it was always crowded. People used to fight for water. So, I thought of digging a well to resolve the crippling water shortage," says Reshma.
She worked for over seven hours a day for the last two weeks to find the water.
Hazrat Bi, Reshma's mother is the happiest of the lot. It was for her convenience that her teenage daughter decided to go ahead with the task.

"She used to dig the well one-arm deep or one and a half arm deep every day. We used to measure the depth every day. And the day the water sprung up… it was the fourteenth day…we were so happy…I almost dropped the bucket I was carrying. Even Reshma cried in happiness. All the children were really happy," said Hazrat Bi.

While Reshma's father thought the job would be too tough for his daughter, Narayan Sharma, a neighbour and family friend encouraged her to go ahead.

"I told the girl that she should go ahead and I would help her. I used to come to her every day and guide her, but she was already doing good work," said Sharma.

The shortage of water during the summer months is a perennial problem in several regions of Madhya Pradesh, and the growing population has only added to the woes. In extreme conditions, people have to draw water from small water holes. Thousands of villagers trek for miles in search of water and sometimes they even enter into a brawl. ANI

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