We are spending crores in search of water on the moon. Despite the extent of the availability of water on earth, millions of people have no access to clean drinking water. Although India has made improvements over the past decades, in both, availability and quality of municipal drinking water systems, its large population has stressed planned water resources, and rural areas are often left out.
The worst condition regarding the same, can be best proven in the case of a village in Jharkhand’s Chatra district, where humans and animals are forced to drink water from the same place.
Paratand village of Simaria block in Chatra district is situated around 141 kilometres from the capital city, Ranchi. Despite this, development remains lakhs of kilometres away from the village.
During the campaign for 2014 and 2019’s Lok Sabha elections, politicians raised their voices for the problems of the villagers and promised to provide water facilities, adding a term and a condition – if our party comes to power, then we will try to sort out the problem within 10 days.
In 2014 and 2019, the country has witnessed a government formed with a huge majority. Now, the result of winning the elections so tremendously has resulted in a change of mind for the politicians. They now say, “We have talked to the officials, but they tell us Paratand village is severely affected by the Naxals. So, it will take some time.”
The Scheduled Tribe-dominated village is forced to drink contaminated water from the river, but now there are ‘drains’ in the picture.
Urmila Devi, a villager said, “The village has a Jalminar and a hand pump but it has been out of use for the last five years. Due to administrative neglect, people are forced to drink contaminated water from the river that comes from the forest and a drain.” The villagers drink contaminated water because they want to live, even if their life is spent in the shadow of illness.
Another villager, Somar Bhuyan, said that the head of the Panchayat and the public representatives are also not taking any initiative to get rid of this problem.
When some media channels asked the head of the Panchayat, Mukta Pandey, she first said that she was not aware of this issue. Now, she has assured arrangements for drinking water within 24 hours in the village.
Here, the main question arises: how is it possible that the head of the Panchayat is not aware of the problem that her village has been facing for the past 30 years?