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Having to Walk for Miles for Clean Drinking Water, Rural Women Most Affected by Water Crisis

An average woman from rural areas walks for about six to 20 kilometers daily in order to ensure clean drinking water.

Updated:December 18, 2019, 12:48 PM IST
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Having to Walk for Miles for Clean Drinking Water, Rural Women Most Affected by Water Crisis
An average woman from rural areas walks for about six to 20 kilometers daily in order to ensure clean drinking water.

India, as a nation, urban and rural notwithstanding, is staring right in the face of a water crisis that threatens to uproot the very foundations of the society we live in. There are steps taken, technology and equipment available, and voices heard when a crisis hits the urban areas, especially the metro cities. The same distress is being faced by the rural areas since a long time and it is worsening with time. Piped water access in rural areas is limited, as only 1/3 of rural households have actual access to piped water, of which more than half deliver water that is unhygienic for consumption. What can be done in such a situation? The residents need to reach reservoirs and areas where they can access water that is fit to drink. And who does that? The women of rural India.

This is how it has always been. All household chores fall upon women as the men work in farms and work as daily wage labour. Cooking, cleaning, washing etc. are chores that women take care of, and all these activities need clean water. The situation gets worse when men migrate to cities to look for jobs and women are burdened with performing their tasks as well. It won’t be then an exaggeration to say that women of rural India are the ones who face the absolute worst of the country’s water crisis.

Walking for miles in search of water and walking back with pitchers filled to the brim (not even considering the amount of exertion required in order to pump out water since hand-pumps are the most common source of clean water in rural India) … all of this not only takes a major toll on the women physically but also affects them mentally and psychologically. This goes to show how far the ramifications of the rural water crisis go.

An average woman from rural areas walks for about six to 20 kilometers daily in order to ensure clean drinking water. If you count the number of hours and energy spent, and the subsequent health effects, you would think these women should have a say in how water is treated and distributed. But that’s not the case.

While the government is all ears and busy making schemes to provide tapped water to all rural households by 2024, we need to do our bit in helping rural India deal with this crisis.

What you can do is become aware and become active. One way to contribute is to log on here and check out the Harpic News18 Mission Paani initiative. You will get information, tips and tricks that would help you help us avert the water crisis. Are you ready?

 

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