After his wife was refused access to water from a well and humiliated for being a lower caste, Bapurao Tajne knew that he had to act. But in the drought-ridden region of Maharashtra, India finding water is just not that simple. So Tajne spent the next 40 days digging to create a well for his wife to use.
When Tajne came home and heard how his wife had been insulted. He quickly decided that he did not want his family to have to beg for water ever again. He walked to the closest town Malegaon and acquired the tools he needed to dig. Within the hour he had chosen the spot for his well and was already digging.
The story is even more impressive when you learn that Tajne is a poor laborer paid by the day. He could not afford to quit his job and jeopardize his family’s livelihood. Every day he would wake up early and dig for four hours before leaving for work. Then on returning home, he would continue to shovel dirt for another two hours.
With no prior experience in constructing wells or deciding what a good spot to find water was, his village believed he had gone mad. Neighbours ridiculed him and even his own family mocked him. The region had already seen three wells dry up due to the drought. With Tajne’s lack of knowledge regarding well building they believed he was on a fool’s errand.
“I was ridiculed by my family among others, but I was determined,” – Bapurao Tajne
His determination finally paid off after 40 days of six-hour digging shifts, he found water. When he did find water, he was not smug or petty. He was happy and wanted to share the new source of water. He invited his whole village to come and draw water from his well, despite their earlier attempts to ridicule him. And his wife? She sourly regrets ever doubting him.
Now she helps him every day as they continue to expand the well, ensuring their family and village has access to water.