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Bachelors of Beed: No water means no job, no bride in this Maharashtra village

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Maharashtra’s Patoda has been facing severe water crisis even one month after the onset of monsoon.

india Updated: Jul 14, 2019 12:01 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Busnarwadi (Patoda)
Maharashtra drought,Beed,Beed drought
Sensing the struggle to fetch water in these cluster of villages near Beed, girls refuse to marry the young men here. (Akshay Rade/HT Photo)

Acute water scarcity in this remote village of about 2,200 people, around 40 km from Beed in Patoda tehsil, has not only meant unemployment for the village youth, but also forced bachelorhood.

Nearly 200 youths in the 25-30 age group have failed to get life partners as rural families don’t want to give their daughters in betrothal to young men in this cluster of villages which includes Busnarwadi, Domari and Disalewadi. Adding to the woes is the fact that there is no mobile network in these villages.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Patoda has been facing severe water crisis even one month after the onset of monsoon. According to the Ground Water Surveys and Development Agency (GSDA) Pune, Domri village cluster is one of 77 villages where the depletion has been greater than three metres. During June 1 to July 11, Patoda region received 128.5mm rainfall as against 169.3mm rainfall in the same period last year.

Nitin Bhusnar (34) who owns 2.5 acres of land said he has gone through ten failed attempts in the last one-and-half year to find a bride for himself. “No one is ready to marry their daughter to someone from this village. In their first visit, they see how our mothers and sisters struggle to fetch water,” said Bhusnar.

“After witnessing this, they don’t return to discuss further,” he added. Nitin recalled that on one occasion he was rejected because “Whatsapp was not working in our village, as the village does not have mobile connectivity.”

Vaibhav Bhusnar, 29, an agricultural labourer, has lost all hopes of getting married.

“One of my relatives also failed to find a bride for himself and finally died a bachelor. I am growing old by the day and have already crossed the marriageable age. I fear the same fate awaits me,” he said.

Most of the villagers belong to the Dhangar and Maratha communities and don’t marry outside their communities.

“We have more than 200 bachelors in our village in the 25-30 age group struggling to find a bride. We have approached the government authorities many times to sanction water tankers for our village; but nothing is being done towards a permanent solution,” said Surekha Bhusnar, deputy sarpanch.

The villagers are presently dependent on three water tankers.

While the young men of the village struggle to find brides, that is not the case with women of marriageable age as they marry and settle in other villages.

Elderly folk in the village said the problem has worsened in the last two years with the rising severity of the drought which has increased over the years. As a result, many youngsters prefer to migrate to cities like Pune, Mumbai and Nashik in search of jobs leaving behind their farm and cattle. In the cities, many of the educated youth hope to get married after getting jobs as security guards and waiters, villagers said.

This situation stands replicated not just in the Domri cluster, but across remote areas of Patoda.

First Published: Jul 14, 2019 01:06 IST