Just like millions of other women in the parts of India that lack adequate access to safe water, Nethravathi would walk miles to collect water for her family. With no other option available, every day after returning from work, she would make multiple rounds to a local well to fetch drinking water. This disheartened her 17-year-old son, Pavan Kumar, who couldn’t bear to watch the everyday struggle of his mother any longer.
Not the one to lament, the teenager carried out a task that seemed impossible at first!
In the Settisara village of Karnataka, families who can afford it, have an open well in their backyard. But Pavan Kumar’s family income wasn’t enough to employ labourers for digging a well. This didn’t deter the teenager from solving the water-problem of his family. He decided to dig a well himself.
Pavan, a Pre-University student, dug a 55-foot-deep well in his backyard, all by himself, to provide water for his family. He worked on the advice of a local hydrology expert and located a suitable spot for the well.
Such was his dedication that the boy halted the work only once for 10 days, to study for his exams. After his exams were over, Pavan resumed digging the well. It took him nearly 45 days to make the drinking water readily available to his family. In his words:
“It was really hard to dig the rocky ground under the scorching sun. Finally, at the depth of 53 ft, when water oozed out, I was filled with a sense of fulfilment. After digging two more feet, I completed the work. I am happy that my mother now has respite from having to rush to the public well after coming home from work”.
While Pavan Kumar’s efforts are commendable, clean drinking water is still a luxury for millions in India. We should use it judiciously.