To help her ailing mother get access to water, woman digs 15-feet well at home

5 months ago 21
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At 24 years, Bobita Soren may be one-third the age of Dashrath Manjhi, famously known as the ‘Mountain Man’, but her feat is no less extraordinary.

Manjhi, who died in 2007, had become famous for digging a road through a hillock using only a hammer and chisel in memory of his wife. Soren has dug a 15-feet well inside her house so that her 50-year-old ailing mother doesn’t have to walk to the villages’ water source about 200 metres away several times a day and stand in the queue for 30 minutes every time to fetch water.

“My mother Nina Soren suffers from anemia and is very weak. Since I was a child I used to see her work very hard to fetch water. I used to feel very sad. She had to walk under the scorching sun and stand in the queue to bring water. I was trying to come up with a permanent solution. Suddenly, it struck me that I can dig a well,” said Soren, who has completed MA in Political Science and is pursuing B.Ed in Burdwan district.

Even though she started digging the well in 2019-end when she had come home from her hostel, she had to leave it half done and return to her hostel soon. But lockdown gave her a unique opportunity. With the college and hostel closed, Soren returned home and gave her time to complete digging the well.

“My father and brother tied the ropes tightly with the help of which I used go down every day and dig whenever I got time from household chores. This continued for the last two to three weeks, till I hit the water table. Sometimes my sister helped me to bring out the soil but she had her job to sustain,” she said.

Soren, who usually does all the paper work of her family, had initially thought of contacting the village panchayat but then backed out as her family would not be able to bear the cost. Also because of the lockdown, labourers were not available and it would take time.

Her father Hapna Soren works in a local factory, while her brother is a driver. Her elder sister works in a local garment shop.

Her feat, however, hasn’t gone unnoticed. As the news spread, senior officials of the local administration rushed to her house on Sunday.

“We were awestruck when we saw the well. We have assured that the administration will dig the rest and make it a 30-feet deep well so that they can get proper drinking water and make it a concrete one. We will also pay her the amount it takes to dig a well. Within this week she will get a laptop and we are also trying to give her a job,” said Tapas Banerjee, MLA and chairman of the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority.

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