70-year-old Sitaram Lodhi can beat any young person with his indomitable spirit. A man of conviction, he single-handedly dug a 33-feet deep well in Chhatarpur district of Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh to tackle the region’s water shortage crisis.
A resident of Hadua village under Pratapura village panchayat of Chhatarpur, Sitaram started working on the 33-feet well in late 2015. It took him 18 months to completely build it. Unfortunately, the well collapsed this monsoon due to rising water level as he did not get any government support to plaster its walls.
Sitaram is unmarried and lives with his younger brother Halke, as reported by The Times of India reports. Halke, his two sons and the family, owns close to 20-acre of land. “It was a dry season and there was no water. We also did not have any money. So, I decided to dig a well on my farm. My family members said that I should not take such a task until I am sure that we will get water. But, I was determined,” Sitaram told The Times of India. “I used to dig from dawn to noon and then again from evening to sunset daily. I dug out the soil and then threw it outside the well — every day for 18 months.”
Halke says the family was not unsupportive of Sitaram but “the problem was he was adamant of digging it in the farm without being sure whether there will be water or not. At one point, we all decided to stop him but convincing him at this age was tough.”
Sitaram said that he successfully found water after digging 33 feet for 18 months. “It was good water and everyone was happy. But, the happiness did not last long as during monsoon the water level rose in the well and the walls collapsed within.”
“I am still ready and fit enough to dig it once again, but I have yet not received any government help. Little financial help for plastering the walls of the well will do,” Sitaram said.
There are many government schemes, including Kapil Dhara Yojana, that help farmers dig wells for better irrigation in their fields.
Luvkush Nagar Janpad panchayat CEO, R K Sharma said, “I do not know whether the farmer had applied for a well under Kapil Dhara Yojana or not. The total cost of the project, in that case, is Rs 1.8 lakh which borne by the government. There is no such scheme to provide help to anyone who has dug his own well.”