Villagers in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada forced to drink drain water

With authorities having been blind and deaf to their needs, villagers here have been forced to dig water from near a drain.

Villagers in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada forced to drink drain water
ANI Photo

India may or may not be on the fast track towards becoming a global power but it means microscopically little to locals in a village in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada who don't even have basic access to clean water for their daily needs.

With authorities having been blind and deaf to their needs, villagers here have been forced to dig water from near a drain, reports news agency ANI. And although the water is visibly murky, locals say they can either die of thirst or consume the dirty water and use it for cleaning, cooking and their other basic needs.

When news of their plight made way to local media, Collector Saurabh Kumar jumped to assure the problem would be looked into. "We will look into the matter, if there is a shortage of hand pumps then we will install them," he said.

Even if additional handpumps are installed, there may not be a guarantee of access to clean water. In February, reports from Chhattisgarh's Balrampur highlighted how 'red water' from handpumps here had been causing skin diseases and aches. Many here have been suffering muscular problems and have skin outbursts, and blame contaminated water from handpumps for their woes.

In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, the situation is as dismal. Last month, a report emerged from Chhatarpur district where villagers were drawing water from an old well with almost blackened water. Their only line of defence against bacteria and virus? Filtering the water using their clothes.

In each of these cases, local administration assured to act but only when the plight of the villagers were highlighted by media reports.

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