Dry Irony

India's first cashless village still struggles for drinking water, with residents even making perilous descent into an old well for a pot

Published 5 years ago on May 09, 2019 1 minute Read
There is nothing remarkable about Dhasai, a village in Murbad taluka of Thane district. Situated 100 km from Mumbai, its only claim to fame is being one of the earliest villages to have implemented cashless transactions in 2016. That is well in the past and the present is nothing but an acute shortage of water. For its 3,000 residents, there is little to look forward to but empty wells with water tankers making their way once a week. Long queues mark their arrival and only the lucky few are rewarded with water. The other unpalatable option is for them to walk several kilometres to look for a well and often make that dangerous journey down to get no more than a potful of water. It is a story that has remained unchanged for close to a decade. Maharashtra has seen 20,000 villages of its 40,500 receiving less than 75% of the average required rainfall. For Dhasai, the incessant pleas for water have only fallen on deaf ears and, in election year, nothing comes except empty promises. Whether this ordeal will ever change has no ready answers for now. But hope does spring eternal for Dhasai.