10 year old boy's 14-km train journey to get two cans of water
MUKUNDWADI, AURANGABAD: For his size and age, ten-year-old Siddharth Dhage shoulders a heavy burden. Every day, the Class II student risks life and limb to travel 14 kilometres on the Aurangabad-Hyderabad Passenger just to bring home two cans of water. He isn’t alone in this—other kids from his locality – such as 12-year-old Ayesha Garud and her 9-year-old sister Sakshi -- also take the train for the same reason.
These children tell the story of how hard the drought has hit the Marathwada region. Over 7,000 villages have been affected by it, forcing lakhs of women and children to walk for several kilometres a day just to fill a single bucket.
Siddharth’s water trek is more complicated. He leaves home around noon, walks to Mukundwadi railway station, hops on a train to Aurangabad city station to draw water from the station taps there, only to return home by 5:30pm. It is seven kilometres one way, but the train is often late by three hours. Siddharth, Ayesha, Sakshi and others like them wait under a tree till the train comes. But when it comes, they only have a few minutes to board before it moves. So there is often a mad scramble, which has caused injuries in the past, but which could be much more dangerous than that. Once aboard, Siddharth finds a spot on the floor in the aisle and takes up only as much space as one of his two water cans.
At Aurangabad station, Siddharth has only 40 minutes to fill up his cans. The more difficult part comes after that: to bring home the cans without spilling water. In a packed train, one can imagine how tough that is. Of course, he would rather play with his mates during this summer break than do this, but he has no choice with both his parents busy working to make both ends meet.
Others who live in the small housing units in Nirmala Devi Nagar, a locality that has no municipal tap supply, also struggle for water. In this community of 300 homes where most are daily wagers, a 200-litre water drum sells for Rs 60, and monthly charges for municipal water tankers, which come just once every four days, can reach Rs 1,150. With nearly all the borewells drying up, about 35 families can no longer afford even the emergency supply. So, it is an all hands on deck situation.
其他住在Nirmala Devi Nagar的人也在为水而挣扎，这个地方没有市政自来水供应。在这个拥有300户居民的社区里，能装200升水的水桶售价为60卢比，而市政水车每四天才来一次。由于几乎所有的水井都干涸了，大约35个家庭甚至连应急供应的水都买不起。情况非常紧急。
Sumanbai Navgire, 51, who has been a resident of Nirmala Devi Nagar for 20 years, also relies on the train ride for water. She has a 300-foot borewell, but it has been bone dry since April. So, Navgire had to quit work to fetch water. Now, she doubles up as the guardian of the ‘water kids’ taking the train.
51岁的苏曼拜·纳弗吉尔已经在Nirmala Devi Nagar住了20年。她有一口300英尺深的井，4月以来就干了。所以，纳弗吉尔不得不辞掉工作去打水。现在，她又兼做“打水儿童”坐火车时的监护人。
But guardian or not, the parents of the children are a worried lot. “We know this trip by train is risky, but it’s our only way to get some water,” said Jyoti, Siddharth’s mother. Sakshi and Ayesha’s parents can’t afford to skip work either because the children, enrolled in a private school, need books and uniforms for the next academic year that starts on Monday.
Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) mayor Nandkumar Ghodele expressed helplessness over the situation. “I feel very sorry for these people, but we can’t help. Our priority is to provide drinking water to those who pay water charges. We wish we could help everyone, but we are facing a severe water crisis,” Ghodele said.
We know this trip by train is risky, but it’s our only way to get some water
Jyoti, 10-year-old Siddharth’s mother
Meanwhile, childhoods are being lost in this search for a commodity that is growing ever scarcer – water.
Zokhuma Lushai • 4 days ago
If this is the plight of some Indian citizen even after 70 years of independence, what are our high profile Indian politicians doing? When the Arabs can turn deserts into green play grounds, pastures, amusement parks, etc, India, a monsoon land is crying for water. It is a shane.
Adi Roi • 3 days ago
arabs have low population, slave labor and unlimited oil $$$ and best no politicians.
Deje je• Bangalore • 4 days ago
Govt shoud undertake Mega projects Bring water from bramhaputra
Gururaj Babu • 4 days ago
The life us so difficult in these places . We cry so much if water is stopped for a few hours . Look at them . irrespective of all the hardship they still continue to live life there like it''s no big deal . Amazing will power .
Mahender Goriganti• 4 days ago
Every one knows about the drought, increasing scarcity of water & other resources with exploding population coupled with illegals and anti national by nature Muslim pork population looting the resources & opportunities of real Hindustani children ; that never talks about the real issue in the name of sicularism !!
Thomas Cheenath• India • 4 days ago
Modi is trying to run bullet trains to his home states to please business community.. is he doing anything to quench thirst of these small children??
cbkpb• Mumbai • 4 days ago
Feku cheated the People of INDIA by hacking the EVM TO WIN....THE CURSE HAS BEGUN.....GOD WILL PUNISH THE WRONG AND " SATYA MEV VAJAYATE" TRUTH SHALL TRIUMPH FALSEHOOD WILL PERISH JUST LIKE CONGRESS BJP WILL ALSO PERISH.
Manish Dubey• 4 days ago
this has not occured of Congress and BJP, this is our owb mistake that we have cut down so many trees and we have not planned any lake to recharge ground water level in this last 70 years.
just do not politice this public issue in the name of BJP and Congress, anyways Modi is better match then Pappu
Robie Shoby• 4 days ago
Despite all these miseries why have the people of Maharshtra given their votes to ''Modi''.
Thomas Cheenath• India • 4 days ago
people did not give votes... ha ha EVM gave votes to lotus
Ash • Mumbai • 3 days ago
This so saddening, the age at which he should be playing and studying and doing stuff like normal children this kid is carrying the burden of survival. This picture shows the failure of government to capture the problems of people. This made me cry.
Krishnan Subramanian • Mumbai • 4 days ago
COngress did not do anything all this years to solve water problem now BJP has to start from scratch
ps murthy • Ingeku • 4 days ago
This is our future
solution • cow country • 3 days ago
One 10 year-old can fetch 2 cans water. Two will fetch 4, Three for 6, etc. Each Indian family should produce 10 kids to fetch 20 cans a day. Problem solved.
super Modi • cow country • 3 days ago
India is a superpower under Modi
Srini • hyd • 4 days ago
This is the real India after 70 years of Independence. Please stop dreams of becoming a super power and work on these issues on war footing...
Akhil • 4 days ago
What a pitty life at his childhood time.
Ekdesi • USA • 3 days ago
A country can never be developed if its citizens have to struggle for basic necessities. There seems to be no solution!
Shekhar Nair • 3 days ago
The govt is busy with Billy trains and metros...
And yes 5g