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Water crisis drives brides away from boys in this AP village

Seethanagaram village is a tiny hamlet in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. This village, which is known for water crisis for the past several years, has earned another dubious distinction. People of nearby villages are refusing to give their daughters in marriage to the boys in the village. Despite water problem affecting the people in many ways, neither elected representatives nor officials bother about the problem.
 
The people of Seethanagaram in Santabommali Mandal have been suffering from water crisis for more than four months now after the only drinking water scheme became defunct. As groundwater in the village is salty, villagers sunk a borewell at Peddamarripadu, which is 4 km from the village and are diverting water by laying underground pipes.
 
An overhead tank was constructed in the village from where water is being supplied through public taps in the village. Since water comes with low pressure, each family would get not more than two pots of water from the public taps. Similarly, the open well in the village has dried up while the borewell hand pumps have gone defunct. 
 
People, including daily wage workers, have been procuring mineral water cans daily for drinking purpose. Some of them have to skip their daily shower due to such acute water shortage. “We have been suffering from water crisis for the past several years. With no alternative, we have been procuring mineral water cans daily to drink water but preparing food with salt water,” said a B.Sc second year student from the village.   
 
With hardly any water left, many families from nearby villages also are staying away from proposals if the boys belong to this village. Not only are the brides asking about the water crisis during the proposals but also do not want to risk their hygiene and health, it is learnt. While it is laudable that these women are empowered about living a healthy life, let us hope that the state government wakes up to the crisis and comes to the villagers’ rescue. 
 

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