Over Dozen Tribal Girls Quit Studies Amid Potable Water Shortage in J&K’s Doda

More than a dozen tribal girls have left their studies midway in the last two years in a remote hamlet in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district amid severe shortage of drinking water there.

The Chenara village falls under Misrata panchayat in Bhaderwah sub-division, 57 km from the Doda district headquarters and is inhabited by Below Poverty Line (BPL) Gujjar population.

It is reeling under severe water crisis since the last two years due to the drying up of natural water resources caused by scanty rainfall.

The girls claimed that the non-availability of water forced them to quit school even as an official said that the village would be covered under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) soon.

According to villagers, women, especially girls, are forced to travel through a dense forest for miles every day to collect water for themselves and their cattle.

On several occasions, they return with unhygienic muddy water and have to spend a lot of energy to make it drinkable, they said.

Girls have no option but to quit studies as they have to spend hours every day on locating and fetching water from far off areas.

When piped water supply is not given to homes, the burden of fetching it falls disproportionately on women and children, especially girls.

The given circumstances have taken a serious toll on the education of girls as at least 15 of them have quit their studies in the last two years.

Local residents want their daughters to go to school but having access to potable water is the top priority as they have to save their lives and the lives of the cattle.

According to the Sarpanch of Misrata panchayat Satish Kotwal, the village is facing a severe water crisis for the last two years and so far, no action has been taken by the authorities to mitigate the sufferings of local residents.

Executive Engineer, Jal Shakti Vibhag, Doda Harjeet Singh said according to the reports of the field staff, the hamlet is without piped water supply.

Source: PTI/The Tribune

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