3. What efforts did the villagers make to get water after the country became free?

3India got freedom. The Indian Government made tireless efforts to increase our agricultural produce. The first programme launched had the target of land-reformation. As every field was made level and smooth, the water that collected in the lower area of the field immediately flew out of the field and ultimately flew into the sea through rivers, VOKADAS and NAHERAS.  Now each and every field was level and smooth, so the whole field was fit for farming. What was its outcome? There was a remarkable rise in the demand for water. People dug wells in their fields. When a field was divided between 2 brothers, only 1 brother had a well in his field, so the other brother had to dig a new well in his field. Thousands of 100-feet deep wells were dug.  People continuously drew water from beneath the soil using diesel pumps.

The PIYAT area of each village increased greatly. India got freedom in 1947. A number of Reformation Programmes were launched to improve and enrich our agriculture. During the first 25 years of independence, the water-level in all 100-feet deep wells started going down. In 1970 thousands of wells in the villages got dried up. All the wells having a depth of 100 feet had no water left. There was a great rise in the demand for water-water for drinking and water for farming. This rapidly rising demand for water made it compulsory to dig bores. Some farmers dug 200-feet deep bores to satisfy their requirement of water and some others dug 300-feet deep bores to satisfy their rising demand for water. Its consequence was that the no water could be drawn or obtained from a 200-feet deep bore, so that farmer was compelled to dig a new bore with a greater depth of 400 feet in another part of his field. The Government also dug very deep bores in order to satisfy the villagers’ rising demand for water. It seemed as if farmers were in a race with one another to acquire more water and to dig deeper bores. Now there were 2000-feet deep and 3000-feet deep bores in the village and water was drawn with the help of submersible water-pumps. Nobody ever bothered to think or care about the more important issue of water-management. The solitary target that each and every person aimed at was obtaining water. As this water was drawn from the depth of thousands of feet, it was not pure. It was mixed with some metals. A serious decline in the quality of water was observed. That impure water was fit neither for drinking nor for farming. How could man and animals drink such impure water? Alas! Mother Earth was pierced with very deep bores!

In my rural meetings I often told the farmers jokingly that America is in south of India and if they continued digging deeper and deeper bores, a bore would be visible under the bed of the America President! The American President then would call the Prime Minister of India to inform him that the Indians had dug such a deep bore that he could see it under his bed!!!

            Friends, jokes apart, we have been drawing water from the land for years. We dug thousands of wells and drew large quantities of water from the land. Thus we harmed and upset Nature’s harmonious system. We exhausted all water. We degraded the quality of water. We destroyed the fertility of the land. We harmed human health too. The green heritage that we inherited from our forefathers has been lost by us.