JHARKHAND: For years, Emon Pahan — a resident of Kojdong village under Murhu block in Jharkhand’s Khunti district — walked about 2 km in search for water.
This strenuous task was her daily routine, as there was no other source of water in her village — until she fell sick one day.
The health condition of Emon moved her husband, Chada Pahan, so much that he decided to take it upon himself to arrange a source of water near his house.
Days later, when Chada went up to a nearby hill to bring firewood, he spotted water dripping from the rocks of that mountain. That’s when this 35-year-old daily wage labourer hit upon an idea: Why not develop a well to provide water to the villagers.
In little more than a year, Chada dug up a 25-foot-deep well in between the rocks and succeeded in bringing water to his doorsteps. The distance between his house and the well is about 500 metres, he says.
As his hard work paid off, Chada further decided to bring water to his doorsteps through a pipe-line which is also benefitting the entire village. Chada’s is achievement may not be as colossal as that of Dashrath Manjhi, the mountain man, but his spirit is equally indomitable.
From no source of water in the village to digging a 25-foot-deep well, benefitting not only his family but the entire village, is an example of his sheer dedication and hard work.
Manjhi, widely known as the “Mountain Man”, a labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, who carved a path 9.1 metres wide and 110 metres long through a hill 7.6 metres high, using only a hammer and chisel for 22 years.
“The well is benefitting more than 50 households in the village as they are getting round the clock water supply without making use of any electricity or pump. The well is located about 250 feet above the village,” Chada says.
“It was really a laborious task. But I did not lose hope, and finally succeeded digging the well in more than a year,” he adds. According to Emon, it’s a great relief that she does not have to travel so much to fetch water anymore.
“When water in the ‘dari’ (natural source of water on the ground) gets dirty during the monsoon season and hand-pumps dries up in summers, villagers take water from a tap installed by my husband,” she says. Villagers, too, can’t stop praising Chada’s work.
“Chada has done a commendable job and has also given the entire village a relief by providing an alternate source of water,” says Sanika Munda, another villager.
Although Jharkhand is a rich storehouse of minerals, it is not so rich in water resources.
Several villages in Chaibasa, Ghatshila, Sahebganj and even the state capital Ranchi are facing acute shortage of water these days. Most handpumps and taps are completely dry and some of them in working condition let out mud instead.