Villagers in Gadag on cleaning mission for wells’ wellness

With many old wells lying unused, the Futagao Badni Gram Panchayat has taken up the work to restore them

Published: 03rd July 2022 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2022 05:49 AM   |  A+A-

Gram Panchayat members and villagers clean a well at Futagao Badni village near Lakshmeshwar town in Gadag district.

Express News Service

GADAG: Sourcing of water has transformed over the years with scientific inventions, but the habit of using old wells remains in some places as the last vestige of history. The Futagao Badni Gram Panchayat recently launched a campaign to inspire villagers to restore old wells. Before long, youth in Lakshmeshwar and surrounding rural pockets too started cleaning defunct wells and rejuvenating them for the monsoon.

Lakshmeshwar was once replete with wells and the entire town depended on them for water. But when water started reaching their homes from other sources, residents stopped using wells and turned them into garbage dumps. To inspire the youth to be part of the campaign, gram panchayat members decided to clean a well and put up photos on social media sites as part of the campaign, impacting the youth who took up cleaning of wells in the town too.

Soon, the campaign started eliciting a good response and many organisations came forward to be part of the social initiative to save these valuable water sources.Some environmentalists too shared these pictures, explaining the importance of old wells which could be the main source of water in many districts, where villagers trek long distances to get water.

The Futagao Badni project began in the second week of June, and works to clean more than 10 wells were taken up in the next 15 days. The movement gained traction with historians and professors in Gadag also deciding to list main kalyanis in the district and cleaning and preserving them for future generations. Urban and rural populations, who were hit by successive droughts,  were enthused to save wells in their respective areas.

A senior citizen from Lakshmeshwar said, “Earlier, wells were a source of water round-the-clock. But now they are in a dilapidated state as people have switched to tap water. Many wells have been closed. If wells are maintained properly, there is no need to walk for miles to get water during a crisis. Our ancestors had built wells for easy availability of water, but now people don’t have the patience to fill water from wells.”

Satish Patil, a resident of Futagao Badni village who is heading the campaign, said, “We have received a good response and we are happy that many youth are coming forward and showing interest in cleaning old wells. People should regularly use and clean wells, which have now been reduced to dustbins. If people can’t clean wells themselves, they should hire someone to do it. If we start using wells daily, the young generation too will learn to use them. The youth don’t know how to get a pot of water from a well and they should be taught. We want to create awareness and we will progress to that aspect after the campaign.”

Futagao Badni Gram Panchayat president Ashok Lamani said, “As residents struggle to get water during summer, all the gram panchayat members decided to clean an unused well in the village. ”Youth from Lakshmeshwar too said that they were inspired to mitigate the water crisis during summers. “Now we have started cleaning an old well near Hirebana area,” they added.

HISTORIC WELLS IN GADAG
Gadag has many historic wells called kalyanis or pushkaranis. Lakkundi had 101 wells. Only  a few are left now, like Musukin bhavi, Kanner bhavi, Chateer bhavi, Nagakunda in Sudi village, Japada bhavi at Dambal, Trikuteshwar temple well, Narasimha honda behind Veeranarayana temple, Koneri Honda near Veeranarayan temple and others.


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