A video depicting two women risking their lives to access water in Madhya Pradesh, India, went viral this week.
In the video posted to Twitter by Indian news outlet ANI, the women are seen traveling long distances to scale the walls of a well without ropes or harnesses. As they reach the bottom, they are seen scooping up the small puddles of water into buckets that are suspended by rope. The little water they find is rationed out.
The video is a reflection of the Ghunsiya village’s dire situation after wells and ponds have dried up. However, this is not the first time a video of Indians risking their lives for water has gone viral. In April, a similar video surfaced of a woman risking her life to fetch water in Maharashtra.
The severe water crisis in Madhya Pradesh is just one of many areas affected across India. In a 2019 global report, India was one of the 17 countries that reported their “water stress” to be “extremely high.” The country is also expected to face even further severe water stress by 2050.
Although the state government had promised Madhya Pradesh villages tap water supplies by 2024, water shortages are reportedly a “recurring issue every summer,” forcing millions to live without this necessity. Disappointed by the government’s lack of action, locals have decided to boycott elections for Gram Panchayat, a village-governing institute.
“Govt employees and political leaders only come during elections. This time we have decided not to give votes until we have a proper water supply. We have to go down the well to collect water. There are 3 wells, all have almost dried, no hand pumps have water,” locals told ANI.
Upon watching the video, Indians on social media have also urged officials to aid the village in light of the “heart-breaking” nature.