Women from the tribal settlement of Barde-Chi-Wadi in Maharashtra’s Nashik district have to descend 60 feet into a well to ensure their families get potable water. The locals have to risk their lives for water even though their settlement is less than 2 km away from a dam.
The upper Vaitarna Dam in Nashik’s Trimbakeshwar taluka, with a capacity of 330 million cubic metres, supplies water to the residents of Mumbai who stay 120 km away from the dam site.
In spite of the area being so close to Mumbai and Nashik — the two most developed cities in the state — women have to wake up at 2 am to beat the waterhole rush that is witnessed around the only well in the tribal hamlet of 50 families. They rappel down the 60-feet well multiple times to collect water with the help of ropes and torchlights.
This is an annual affair for women of the village in April and May, when the water level drops. With the area witnessing less than adequate rainfall this year, their problem has been accentuated further.