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How a daily wage labourer built a well on her own by digging daily for three months

Think Change India
19th Apr 2017
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A 51-year-old woman from the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka is now being called Lady Bhagiratha in her locality. Gouri S. Naik dug a well all by herself and got water in three months.

Image: (L) – Times of India; (R) – MANOJMP/Creative Commons

The daily wage labourer and mother of one has planted and is taking care of 15 coconut trees, a few banana trees, and 150 areca plants near her house. She wanted water to feed the plants, which was not available. Her only option was to dig up a well. However, asking people to dig a well for her meant spending money, money that she didn't have.

Hence, she took it upon herself to build the well, and she dug for six hours daily for three months, without seeking anyone’s help. She could dig four feet into the ground every day single-handedly, and in the end, took help from three women to take out the dirt from the well. The well is now 60 feet deep, and has seven feet of water in it.

Vinoda, an officer with Dharmastala Rural Development Project, told The Times of India,

"When Gouri came to the meeting, she would complain about body ache. But we did not know about her work in digging a well. It was only when we visited her home that we found out what she was doing."

Gouri is a part of the Project, which was inaugurated nearly a year ago with the aim of empowering women, according to The Hindu. As a first step, they had started with 5,001 self help groups, which also aimed at alleviating people from poverty and bringing in sustainable livelihoods.

Gouri is a fine example of a woman who has proved to be self-sufficient and empowered, acting as a motivation for other women around her.

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