Acute water crisis for the past two decades in Agar district’s Dewali village in Madhya Pradesh is hurting the marriage prospects of the 150-odd young men, who say no woman wants to wed for fear of trekking long distances to reach wells.
Water is available for only four months every year in the village – situated 10 kilometres away from Agar district headquarters – and local residents say repeated requests to the government to dig a borewell have been ignored.
“We have made all efforts to get brides for the past seven years. But the first question the girls’ parents ask is about the water situation,” said 32-year-old Meharban Singh, a bachelor. “No parent wants their daughter to walk long distances daily just to fetch drinking water.”
The panchayat chief of the 1,600-strong village said no family from neighbouring areas wants to wed men from the locality.
“I came to this village about 50 years back after getting married. Since then, I waste a lot of time every day to fetch water,” said 65-year-old Shanti Bai.
Village panchayat chief Peerulal said requests to the government for a borewell or tankers have gone in vain.
“Even during the 2014 Lok Sabha election, villagers decided to boycott polling but then district collector assured the problem will be solved after the elections. But nobody turned up to solve the grievances,” he added.
Public health engineering (PHE) deputy engineer Vijay Chawda admitted the water crisis in the village.
“Low ground water level and lack of water resources in the area are some of the major reason behind acute water crisis in the village, but we will made alternative arrangement through government scheme,” he said.
Sub-divisional magistrate Milind Dhoke said, “I found out about the Dewali village issue just now. We will coordinate with the PHE to deal with the situation soon.”