Taking a suo motu cognizance of a media report on the acute shortage of water, the NHRC has sent notices to the Government of Maharashtra and the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti.
New Delhi: Around 90km from Nashik in Maharashtra, the Dandichi Bari village is a nightmare for women, so much so that sources say newly-married brides are now running away from the village. The reason — lack of potable water.
According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), “the villagers have to struggle daily for a drop of water”. Taking a suo motu cognizance of a media report on the acute shortage of water, the NHRC has sent notices to the Government of Maharashtra and the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti to mitigate the problem faced by the villagers.
According to NHRC officials, “The women have to walk a kilometre and a half every summer, from March to June, to fetch water from a nearly-dry stream at the bottom of a hill and it takes a lot of time and patience to fill the pots. Reportedly, families now hesitate to get their daughters married off to men from this village.”
According to reports, the women literally wait for hours till a cavity in a rock fills up with water in order to fetch water. With a bowl in hand, the women literally scoop out water from the cavity and fill their pots and then, when the water has been scooped up, the women wait for hours again for it to get filled.
The commission observed that the “media report, if true”, amounts to gross violation of the basic human right i.e. Right to Life and Dignity. “It seems that in spite of several efforts being made by the government agencies and announcement of various schemes to provide potable water, the relief is still away from this particular village,” the NHRC noted.
In a statement, the commission said, “Accordingly, it (commission) has issued noticed to the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra and the Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, New Delhi calling for a detailed report in the matter within six weeks. The reports should include the steps being taken or proposed to be taken to redress the grievance of the residents of this village and present status regarding availability of drinking water in the area.”
Quoting the media report, the NHRC further said, “The new brides are often not able to cope up with the horrible situation. They are so daunted by the extreme water scarcity that they do not want to stay in the village and return to their maternal homes. The village sarpanch, reportedly said that many babus and journalists visit the village and take photographs of the suffering of the villagers but no one helps.”