In Savri Village Of Madhya Pradesh, People Stay Thirsty As River & Handpumps Go Dry
Shanta Bai, 24, jabs a bindi onto her forehead and slips on a shirt over her saree, as she dresses for work. Shanta is a labourer and goes along with her husband for work. Mother to a one-year-old, her day starts at five in the morning, to prepare food before she leaves her village, Savri, to fetch water from a pump located far away.
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Shanta comes from the Gond tribe. “Up until last month, I had to walk at least 3 km to fetch water, but the rainfall has given us some respite. Now, we get water almost 1 km away. This year, even the rain god is not happy with us,” she says.
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The condition of Savri village is very grim, and there is no water in the Syani river (a tributary of the Narmada). The villagers expected the river to fill up and flow with rigour during the rainy season, but nothing happened. Every day, they say a silent, fervent prayer for heavy rainfall, just so there is water to drink.