Baigas forced to drink contaminated water of Jhiria

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 May 2018 10:53:24


Our Correspondent

With the soaring temperature, the Jhiria, the only source of drinking water for Baiga tribals, is drying up. Hand-pumps have been installed in the villages but in scorching heat they got dried thereby forcing the Baiga to drink contaminated water of Jhiria.Baigas have to trudge one and half kilometer in the blistering heat to collect water from Jhiria. It’s surprising that there is no change in the fate of Baigas even after spending crores of rupees every year.Baigas are a protected tribe. Over a dozen villages including Bansatola, Bahpani, Tedapani, Dengurjam, Kanhakhaira, Jakhnadih, Thengatola, Jhumar, Chhirpani, Peepartola, Sarpani, Dhebarpani, Sejadih, Bhalindadar, Chaurdongari, Basulalot, Pandaripani, Sendurkhar, Majgaon and Gabhoda, are situated on the hills. Hand-pumps installed there dry in the summer season. With the drinking of dirty Jhiria water, many of the Baigas have already lost their lives.

Meanwhile, Mahaku Baiga from Pandaripani informed that Jhiria is one and half kilometer downside of the village, from where the Baigas have to collect water. There is no hand-pump in the vicinity of school. Here also water is brought from Jhiria to cook Mid-Day meal. He said that the Baigas were dying of drinking contaminated water every year but no initiative is being taken to improve the condition of Baigas. Mahaku further said that concrete work-plan should be made to provide pure drinking water.
Hills are above thousands of feet, where getting water is very difficult, said Mahaku. The tribals wondered that Government every year releases crores of rupees from Tribal Development Fund but there is no any change in their life. It’s unfortunate that in 21st century, Baigas are deprived of pure drinking water.
In tribal villages, there are no approach roads, no electricity and no proper health and
educational facilities. It is
being questioned where fund meant for tribal development is being spent.
Meanwhile, M S Thakur, SDO said that only Jhiria and well are the sources of water in hilly areas. Almost in all the villages hand-pumps have been installed.
Due to scanty rainfall,
water level has gone down. Efforts are being made to take water to villages through pumps from Jhiria, said Thakur.