[imagesource: Twitter / @ANI_MP_CG_RJ]
Large areas of India are facing severe water shortages, forcing residents to risk their lives in pursuit of the very substance that keeps life going.
A video has been doing the rounds, showing female residents from the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh scaling the treacherous wall of a well in order to retrieve small buckets of muddied water.
Village residents have been forced to go to extreme lengths to access the precious water left at the bottom of wells, without the use of ladders, ropes, or harnesses.
Have a look:
#WATCH | Madhya Pradesh: People in Dindori’s Ghusiya village risk their lives to fetch water from an almost dry well pic.twitter.com/jcuyLmE5xL
— ANI MP/CG/Rajasthan (@ANI_MP_CG_RJ) June 2, 2022
Those women seem to have honed their wall-scaling skills, but others trying to retrieve water often end up in far more dire situations.
This is an example of some of the dangers they face per a news report from July last year:
Groundwater is one of the main sources of water in India, but according to the World Bank, almost two-thirds of the country’s districts are threatened by falling groundwater levels.
Wells and ponds across several areas in India are drying up, leaving most of the country in a total water crisis, reported the BBC:
A 2019 global report had named India among 17 countries where “water stress” was “extremely high”.
The report said the states of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Haryana were among those worst hit by the crisis.
In Madhya Pradesh, water shortage is a recurring issue every summer. The state government has promised tap water supply to every village by 2024. But drinking water is still inaccessible to millions.
Boycotting local elections seems insufficient in the face of this very human crisis, but these residents are doing that as a last resort.
Perhaps the virality of the recent video may help their pleas to be heard, as social media users have lamented the “heartbreaking” circumstances and are urging officials to step up.
If nothing changes, India will face worsening water stress in the next few years.
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