Keshar Bai (45 years) and Kanthilal are residents of Marade Wadi, a remote village in Indhapur, Pune. There are around 200 families living here, 50 per cent of them belong to Scheduled Caste (SC) communities and are dependent on agriculture and allied activities. This village is a quiet but hot place as it receives scanty rainfall resulting in failure of crops and is drought prone. The villagers face many problems like unemployment, water scarcity, poverty, sickness and disease. Water is their greatest need and getting water for their daily needs has become their biggest challenge.
Kesar Bai and Kantilal have a grown up son who is married and they all live together in the same house. Both the son and daughter-in-law are still studying so they go to the nearby town for their studies. They go out early in the morning and get back late in the evening as they travel to the town that is 35 kilometers away from their village. It is not easy getting work for Kesar Bai and Kantilal; in the sweltering heat, with no shade and temperatures crossing 45 degrees, the working conditions are very tough and so, they go for whatever work they can find. They go out early for work and return late in the evening.
Their biggest problem is water; there were no rains at all, failed crops and parched lands are the remnants of Maharasthra’s drought in that village. Fields were abandoned and crops were either dying or already dead. The saddest part was that Marade Wadi village has no water source of its own. They depend on water tankers (government supply) that come to their village to a place that is half a kilometer away from their home. Kesar Bai has to make many trips and carry water back to her house. They carry water and try to fill water in drums and big, plastic water containers. The water tanker comes only twice in a week so they have to collect and store enough water to provide for all their basic needs.
The water tankers do not maintain a regular schedule and quite often Keshar Bai misses out on work and her daily wages as she is forced to stay home, wait for the tanker and fill sufficient water. This was a tiring task which was affecting her health. The visit from the Living Waters team (LW) of Operation Blessing India (OBI) and the successful drilling of a bore well in her village brought great relief to Marade Wadi village. The entire village is rejoicing along with Keshar Bai for the joy of gaining direct access to water. Their own water source is what they’ve been missing; it certainly was a reason to celebrate. The entire village is grateful to OBI for this wonderful provision. Keshar Bai is happy that she can go for work regularly especially because water is not going to be an issue anymore. She is grateful to the LW team for their love and service.