When Gouri S Naik, who is a member of the Dharmastala Rural Development Scheme, came to a meeting complaining about aches in her body, the other members and officers wondered about what she was up to that she was tired all the time. So, they decided to go to her home and see if she was fine.
That’s when they discovered, that in order to ensure a steady supply of water for herself and her plants, she had spent hours everyday building a well.
Gouri, 51, from Ganesh Nagar, Sirsi in Uttara Kannada (a district in Karnataka), is a daily-wage labourer, who also happens to have grown 150 areca, 15 coconut and some banana trees near her house.
Since she couldn’t afford to commission a well in order to tend to these plants and trees under her care, she decided to literally take matters into her own hands.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Thus, for a span of three months, she spent five to six hours digging in order to build a well herself. She did this in addition to her duties as a labourer. At the very end, she solicited the help of three other women to help her clear the dirt from the 60-foot deep well she had managed to dig herself.
Due to her effort, today, she has her own well that has seven feet of water in it and she no longer has to worry about watering her plants. She has also earned the respect of those around her, who have taken to calling her ‘Lady Bhagiratha’ (according to Hindu mythology, Bhagiratha was a king who brought the river Ganges to Earth from the heavens).
Vinoda, a scheme officer from the Dharmastala Rural Development Scheme, spoke to Times of India noting, “When Gouri came to the meeting, she would complain about body ache. But we did not know about her work in digging a well. It was only when we visited her home that we found out what she was doing.”