In the village of Denganmal, the story of drinking water is something to notice. There is no drinking water in the village.

There are no taps. The only way people get drinking water is to walk for a while to a nearby hill.

It is not hard to guess that the hill area gets crowded because everyone in the village gathers around that area to get some drinking water.

Together with the hamlet, which extended about the small size and located 85 miles from Mumbai, sought out a solution.

The solution was ‘water wife‘.
So what is this water wife?

Bhagat is a 66 years old man, and he has three wives. In an otherwise monogamous society of this region, men are compelled to practice polygamy because of the water crisis.

In an interview, he said that it was vitally necessary to marry more than once because water is a big issue, and getting it is a matter of bliss.

His first wife would look after the kids. The second wife had fallen ill and was not able to fetch water. For this reason, he married the third one.

Extremely poor, he has to work as a farm laborer in a village nearby. He cannot afford to keep help to fetch water.

There is no water to drink in the village, to wash, and do other household work. The village belongs to an area that is poorly struck by drought every year.

According to the data released by the government, Maharashtra is one of the severely drought-affected states.

This is an alarming situation. Water management in the state is terrible, and the rural area is the biggest victim of this shortage or crisis.

Every year the situation does not improve. Many people in rural areas suffer from a shortage of water.

In Indian urban areas, the shortage is also there, but it is mitigated with water tanks and pipelines.

But this facility is not available in rural areas with a water crisis, and people have to suffer.

Every year the temperature keeps rising, and due to global warming, there is no improvement in rainwater.

This, combined with other environmental factors, has been worsening the situation.

The thing about marriage in this village is nothing new.

It has been happening for many years now.

The village consists of only a hundred thatched huts.

Apart from marrying, there is no other option. Wives live in the same house. They have separate kitchens and a separate room to themselves, as mentioned by Bhagat.

One has the responsibility of fetching water, and two cooks at home.

Namdeo was also interviewed. He has two wives.

‘It is not easy to maintain a big family with such a big water crisis’, he said.

Water is essential to life, and nothing is impossible without water.

Not even cooking!

The wives do not have personal issues with each other. They feel that they are together in this crisis and call each other sisters.

But that should not be the reason the government does not work over the water crisis.

The government must take active steps against the water crisis without interfering in their personal decisions about life and partners.

Author

Mike Brown has done Masters in Hydrology and Water Management. He loves coffee and likes to lecture people on climate change. He plays PUBG when he is not working.

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