<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Breaking into male bastion, around 300 women have turned well-diggers in a nondescript village in northern Palakkad district of Kerala to find a solution to the acute water scarcity in the hamlet and earn a living. Even elderly women climb down pits using makeshift bamboo ladders and dig arduously for hours using pickaxe and shovel, removing mud and clay in search of water sources in Pookkottukavu, a village panchayat. Battling various challenges, these homemakers, aged between 35 and 70 years, have dug up over 190 wells across the drought-hit village since last August under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Lack of skill training and physical limitations are no barrier for them to construct 10-12 metre deep wells single-handedly digging the harder and rocky terrains of the panchayat. Lakshmi, a 39-year-old homemaker hailing from Punchappadam in the hamlet, feels proud that they could take up the intense task and achieve success in it. She and other women in the village decided to take up the risky job to ensure steady daily wage to support their family. “We did not know anything about well digging initially. But, we relied on our group effort and confidence. We gradually learnt the basics of the work through our experience”, Lakshmi told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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Women dig wells to make village self-sufficient in water