Bapurao Tajne spent 40 days digging a well after his wife attempted to draw water from the well of someone of a higher caste and was denied — and humiliated — in a drought-affected region of Maharashtra, India.
“I came home that day in March and almost cried,” Tajne told The Times of India. “I resolved never to beg for water from anybody. I went to Malegaon (the closest town) and bought tools and within an hour I started digging.”
Bapurao Tajne is a poor laborer, and could not quit his job to dig the well, so he would wake up early and dig for four hours before work and then shovel for another two once he got home. He said the spot for the well was chosen by instinct.
“I prayed fervently to God before starting the job,” he said. “I am thankful that my effort has been rewarded.”
Because of his lack of knowledge and experience, his entire village, including his wife, thought he’d gone mad and openly mocked him — especially since three wells had dried up due to the drought.
“I was ridiculed by my family among others, but I was determined,” Tajne said .He kept digging, six hours daily for 40 continuous days, until he found water.
According to The Guardian, 330 million people are affected by drought in India due to two consecutive years of weak monsoons. In some communities, drinking water has been rationed.
Yet this is no longer the case for Tajne’s village. Once he found water, he invited everyone to drink from the well, despite making fun of him.
“The ones who ridiculed my efforts now come to my well to fetch water,” Tajne told Asian News International.
As for his wife, she regrets doubting her husband.
“I did not help him a bit until he struck water,” she admitted to TOI. “Now the whole family, except the two kids, helps him as he deepens and widens the well.”