This 10-Yr-Old Boy Travels 14 Kilometers Daily Just To Get Two Cans Of Water
At an age when even school bags feel burdensome, children of tender age trudge along miles and travel crowded trains to fetch water at the risk of their lives, reported The Times Of India.
It takes more than five hours to commute 14 kilometres to fill just two cans of water from the tap of a railway station. Several times these children have got hurt in the melee in trains at railway stations.
It is not a scenario from the deserts of Rajasthan; it is the drought-hit Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Those who are suffering the most are poor residents who cannot afford water charges levied by the civic body.
Children hailing from Nirmala Devi Nagar walk to the nearby Mukundwadi railway station to board the Aurangabad-Hyderabad Passenger to fetch water to quench the thirst of their water-starved families.
Not only nature, but the system also test their patience. At times the train gets delayed by two to three hours but the children do not give up. They wait for the train under the shade of a tree.
The struggle doesn’t end for the children in the train, rather it gets more intense as they jostle for a space to find a seat for themselves. More of the times, they sit on the floor of the coach clutching the water cans with the hands.
On the return journey, a different kind of ordeal begins for them as they have to ensure that the water for which they risk their lives does not spill over.
Others who live in the locality having no tap water facility also have to fight for the water. The locality is a low income group colony with majority of them surviving on daily wages.
They cannot afford to buy water. Two hundred litre of water costs Rs 60, and the municipal tankers which visit the area just once in every four days is also unaffordable as its monthly bill amounts to Rs 1,150.
Sadly, the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) mayor Nandkumar Ghodele said that he could not help these families as the water is available only on payment of charges.
“I feel very sorry for these people, but we can’t help. Our priority is to provide drinking water to those who pay water charges. We wish we could help everyone, but we are facing a severe water crisis,” Ghodele said.
The corporation had given a contract in 2011 to a private company to lay pipelines from Jayakwadi dam to Nakshatrawadi reservoir, Aurangabad’s primary water source, and build an internal water supply network. But the contract was terminated in 2016 after differences emerged between the company and the civic body.
Marathwada is a chronically drought-prone region in the state. As of now, over 7,000 villages are affected.