Dandichi Bari is a small village in Surgana Taluk, about 90 km from Nashik, India. 300 people live in Mereket in the whole village. But when a man gets married in this village, instead of rejoicing, the family and the rest of the village are surprised.

Many men in this village do not know what a happy married life is like despite being married. Because most of the women in this village run away from home immediately after marriage. But it is not like that. The brides of this village leave their in-laws after marriage for a special reason.

Residents of Dandichi Bari village suffer from water problems throughout the year. Those who have grown up in this village are used to this life, despite the severe water crisis. But those who come to this village from outside face problems. Most of them are newlyweds.

After spending a few days at the in-laws’ home, they are so terrified of the water crisis that they do not want to stay in the village. He wants to leave his marriage-husband-in-laws and go back to his father’s house.

Govind Waghmare, a resident of this village, tells of one such marriage, which lasted only two days. Govind said, ‘In 2014, one of the village got married. That marriage lasted only two days. The bride left her husband’s house after two days. This incident was widely spread among people.

Govinda also said that the bride went down the hill with the rest of the housewives of the village to fetch water. One day, while fetching water, he realized how difficult it is to live in this village.

The women of the village have to go to the bottom of the hill to fetch water. The bride understood that her life would be difficult if she stayed in that village. There is no other way but escape. So the bride ran away to her father’s house, leaving the pitcher there while fetching water.

Govinda also said that every year during summer i.e. from March to June, the women of this village have to walk one and a half kilometers on foot to fetch water from a river that is almost dry at the bottom of the hill. The housewives of the village have to fetch water from the cracks in the rocks in front of the dry river. You have to put your hands in the cracks of the rocks on the river side and take the water with a bowl and fill it in the container.

When the water inside the cracks runs out, the women have to wait for hours for the water to be refilled. After that, they have to return to the village by digging up the hill again with two pots on their heads.

Village women go down the hill twice a day to fetch water. The struggle to bring water started from 4 am. After fetching water once, one has to fetch water again in the afternoon. Most of the days in summer are above 40 degrees Celsius. In that summer, the women of the village had to walk across the rocky road.

Lakshmibai Wasle, a resident of the village, said, ‘It can take up to three hours to fill a kalsi. It is often night to return to fill with water.’ Lakshmibai said that there is fear of attack by wild animals in the dark of night. That’s why they return home by lighting torches at night. Comes with a torch.

The women of the village return home along the steep road with two pitchers on their heads and torches in their hands. Not only fetching water, women also have to do other household chores. Many women are not willing to live this difficult life. Because of this, many brides fled the village after becoming wives.

Jairam Waghmare, head of Dandichi Bari village, said that he has been trying to install water tanks for the people of the village for a long time. He said, ‘Many people came and took pictures of our suffering. But no one helps. Our village has been suffering from drought for generations.’

Jairam admits that the village has a bad reputation for celibacy. In 2008-2009, three married women left the village within days of their wedding due to lack of water.

Now many families do not agree to marry their daughters to men of this village. “Once someone finds out that the groom’s home is in Dandichi Bari, they stop talking about marriage,” says Jayaram.

(9 November/AJ)