There are many sad stories that can be heard these days where people are either committing suicides or either migrating to places, due to drought and scarcity of water. Government data says that 33 crore people are suffering in 256 affected districts ion India. But, there is one peculiar story, where people are scared to marry their daughters in Kapsa village of Bundelkhand region, as each woman have to walk at least two miles to fetch water.
Out of 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh, 50 are reeling under severe drought crisis. Among the 50, seven districts of Bundelkhand — Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Lalitpur, Jhansi and Banda — are the worst affected and people are travelling miles to fetch even for a single drop of water. Situation in Kapsa village of Maudaha tehsil of Hamirpur district in Bundelkhand is quite gruesome, as no father want to marry their daughter in this village, reason — they don’t want their daughter to fetch water all through their life.
Explaining a situation to The Hindu reporter, a 48-year old woman Bhuri said that she was married to this village by her father, but if she had known about the condition, she would have rather stayed unmarried than fetching water for her entire life. She said, “My parents decided my marriage. Had I known, I would be fated to this, I would have never got married in this village. Which woman would like to spend the rest of her life fetching water like this?”
All the five ponds have dried up in this village and the water that comes out of 7 remaining hand pumps (out of 20), is unfit for drinking. So, the woman have to walk almost 2 kilometre to the nearest well, based in a temple. On some days, water tankers can also be seen, but they too are inefficient to fulfill the requirements. And the crack, parched lands describes the pain of all residents.
Adding more concern to the problems of Bhuri is her three unmarried sons, who are finding it difficult to get brides since last few years. Bhuri even recollects how she was embarrassed when she tried to get her son married. On the other hand, local resident Ranvijay Singh has a different story to tell. He recollects the shame how brides’ parents ask questions to him and says, “Fathers of the girls usually ask me, ‘When you or your sons are not in the village, how will my daughter cope? Will she do this for the rest of her life?’ I have no answer to give”. Singh adds brides’ parents had liked his sons, but when they sensed the drought situation here, they do not return or call back.
It can be said that in Kapsa, out of the remaining 1,530 inhabitants, the population mainly comprises of upper castes belonging to Thakurs, Yadavs, Dalits and Pals, but the drought factor has forced the brides’ parents to deny marriage to this place. Maximum youth have migrated to distant places and many have even changed regions. Now, with prevailing conditions of drought that continued for last couple of years, it looks this village will not see any marriage happening in recent times, at least not this summer.