A Dalit villager whose wife was denied water from a well owned by upper caste people in Kalambeshwar village of Washim district in Maharashtra worked undeterred for 40 days to dig a well.
Bapurao Tajne’s this work has reminded that of Gaya’s Dashrat Manjhi, the man who cut a road out of the mountains for his wife.
It all started, when Bapurao’s wife was refused and humiliated to draw water by the owner of a well. The insult of his wife made Bapurao so persistent to be self reliant that he decided to dug a well all by himself.
The villagers openly made fun of him when he started the work but nothing made Bapurao to stop his hard work. According to a report in Times of India, Bapurao had never dug a well before and that every day he devoted six hours for 40 days until he hit water. He did this all alone. No one, not even his family members, helped him.
The entire Dalit locality of the village is now drawing water from the 15-feet deep and 6 feet wide well.
“I don’t want to name the well owner for I don’t want bad blood in the village. However, I feel that he insulted us because we are poor and Dalits. I came home that day in March and almost cried. I resolved never to beg for water from anybody. I went to Malegaon (the closest town) and bought tools and within an hour I started digging,” Bapurao told the daily.
Bapurao further said that he had no idea about the spot as there was no hydrological study to select it, so he went by instinct. “I prayed fervently to God before starting the job. I am thankful that my effort has been rewarded,” he said.
Bapurao said that he can’t explain how difficult it was. The BA drop out said that he just wanted to have a well for the people of his community so that Dalits do not have to beg for water from upper caste people.
His wife Sangita now feels bad for initially mocking him and helping him in achieving this. “I did not help him a bit until he struck water. It is already 15 feet deep. Bapurao wants to dig 5 feet further. We are hoping our neighbours will help us.”
Villagers are now comparing him with Dashrath Manjhi who single-handedly chiseled a path through a mountain in 22 years to give his fellow villagers a shortcut to better medical facilities.