Maharashtra: How fetching water is holding back India's women

submitted by MicroWave

www.bbc.com/news/articles/c2e47zgz2v7o

Fetching drinking water is a gruelling daily routine for millions of women in India.

Even without enduring the scorching summer months or the freezing winters, they walk for miles every day, balancing plastic or earthen pots on their heads and carrying buckets in their hands to manage the household water stock.

“It’s a daily struggle. I get so tired that I collapse when I’m done,” says Sunita Bhurbade from Tringalwadi, a tribal village 180km (112 miles) from India’s financial hub, Mumbai.

Ms Bhurbade spends four-to-five hours every day travelling back and forth from her nearest reliable water source - a dry lake - to fill her pots. The water is dirty and she has to dig holes on the side for the water to filter through naturally and seep in.

“For four-to-five months every year, women have no option but to fetch water from long distances because nearby wells and water sources dry up,” she says. Ironically, her village receives one of the heaviest rainfalls in the region.

Because of this daily grind, she constantly complains of back and neck pain, fatigue and weakness.

The daily rigour also bars her and other women from her village from pursing a paid job.

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NOT_RICK , edited

This is an issue across the developing world. I helped fund clean water cisterns in Uganda for this exact reason. Once getting clean water no longer requires a half day trek you free up children for education and women for education or work. It’s so easy to take the clean water we have access to in the western world for granted.