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60-Year-Old Woman Spends Her Life Savings Digging a Well for Parched Villagers

A woman of limited means living on a pension in a remote village in Karanataka, used up her savings to dig a well so several households would have water to drink.

Laxmi Poojarthi, a 60-year-old woman, lives in Amparu gram panchayat, a drought-hit village in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district, near Mangaluru. The village is situated on undulating terrain and does not have a good source of potable water. Tankers provide water to the villagers during summer and during the rest of the year they have to walk 2-3 km to access the closest source. Handpumps in the area too do not provide good potable water.

Resolving to put an end to the water woes of the villagers, Laxmi teamed up with four women about three months ago and started digging a well.


Thanks to their hard work, the 52-feet deep and 6 ft wide well is now ready in the Viveknagar colony of Amparu. As many as 10 households depend on this well for their daily water needs.

The well was build under the NREGA scheme of the government, which provides guaranteed employment of 100 days to the rural unemployed every financial year. The gram panchayat paid Rs. 82,000 for the project but fell short because the cost of installing the rings went up to Rs. 1.18 lakhs. At this point, Laxmi pitched in with her entire life’s savings, plus the wages she received from NREGA, to cover the cost of completing the well.

Amparu  gram panchayat vice-president Kiran Hegde told Times of India, “Laxmi is a brave woman and a role model for all. The woman gave her entire savings for a public cause. She has done something extraordinary.”

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