Countering the challenges of drought

Countering the challenges of drought

Unlike many people who seek the aid of the government for water during the time of scarcity, Gouri Chandrashekhar Naik succeeded in getting enough water by digging an open well single-handedly. A small farmer residing at Hutgar village of Sirsi in Uttara Kannada, Gouri had planted about 150 areca, 20 coconut and a few banana plants in a small patch near her house. Sirsi is situated in the midst of Western Ghats where the groundwater level is about 20 metres and the average rainfall is 2,800 mm. Open wells are the main source of water for household use.

Sensing that the existing open well would go dry, she started digging a well of about five feet diameter in the month of January this year in her backyard. Though her family members discouraged her as it involves a lot of hard work, she did not deter. As she had already dug a similar well at her brother’s house, it was not a new task for her. Eventually, she  reached a depth of 40 feet in about two months. After that, she was helped by her neighbours to dig another 20 feet. Now, Gouri has about six feet of clean water that is sufficient for her plants till the beginning of rainy season. “Her courageous effort without seeking the help of local bodies is commendable,” says Rupa, her neighbour. “These days, we hardly get people to do such works. So, I decided to do it on my own. I used to work for about six hours every day and it paid off,” smiles Gouri.

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