According to media reports, three men (including two youngsters) died while digging a deep well funded by a local NGO in the Nagarparkar area of the Tharparkar District. We see motorbikes and motorcars being run in wooden erected wells called death wells during cultural fairs for entertainment purposes. But Thar is a place where the wells continue to be the sources of life and death simultaneously. The deepest wells prove to be the only sources of water for the residents of Thar. But digging, cleaning and extracting water from these wells is extremely arduous and a hazardous exercise. During digging there is always risk of collapsing of precarious sand layers as happen in above mentioned case. Similarly two donkeys or one camel is used to drag the heavy bucket of the water and those households who cannot afford animals use their muscle power to extract water from these wells. It is woeful that in this technological epoch the people of Thar still rely on primitive sources like wells to survive. And it is more unfortunate that some NGOs still continue to perpetuate the same outdated sources instead of innovating new and more convenient technologies. The drilling technologies are now available to reach thousands feet in the earth to extract minerals. Why don’t the government and NGOs introduce and apply these technologies in Thar to save the people from the ordeal of digging and extracting water in the primitive risky way.
Johi, August 1.