- Instead of individuals moving out for jobs, entire families are leaving.
- Over 24 villages in Jhansi district face a severe drinking water crisis.
- Families are moving out of the region in hope of finding water and jobs.
JHANSI, UTTAR PRADESH: In Khisni Khurd, one of the many villages in drought-ravaged Bundelkhand, 55-year-old Bhagirath Adivasi and his family of 20 is leaving for Morena some 250 km away. They hope to find livelihood there. And, more importantly, drinking water.
The decision wasn’t easy for the Adivasi family as they leave behind four acres of land and livestock. “If we had drinking water available, we would not have left our village. At least we will have water there. We will look for work. There has been no crop yield on my four acres of land for the last two years because of the drought. I am leaving behind my livestock on God’s mercy.”
Over 24 villages in Jhansi district face a severe drinking water crisis. At Khisni Khurd, three of the four bore wells in the village have dried up forcing residents to walk miles to fetch drinking water.
The area has seen a change in the trend of migration. Earlier individual farmers would leave behind their families and go out to cities in search for work as the drought rendered their fields dry. But, this year families have started migrating because of the ongoing water crisis.
Shaheen Bano, Panchayat Member, Khisni Khurd village, told NDTV, “Almost half of the families living in this village have migrated because of the water crisis. The Administration officials claim they are sending water tankers. But in this village no water tankers have come so far.”
The Jhansi district administration denies any major water crisis in villages and claims that foreseeing the problem, they took adequate steps in advance.
Ajay Kumar Shukla, Collector Jhansi says,” We have already identified 154 spots where hand pump needs to be installed and 30 hand pumps have already been installed. You are saying that families are now migrating to cities because of water crisis. But, in Jhansi district not a single such case have I come across till now.”