Water scarcity a cause for rejection of marriage proposals, claim Kupwara villagers

Kashmir Wire Service


Absence of water supply forcing womenfolk to walk miles up a hillock to fetch potable water in a remote village of Kupwara district has far-reaching implications especially for the young boys, the villagers claim.

The residents of Warsun-B, village comprising of around 60 Pahari speaking families claimed that marriage proposals of local boys were being rejected by parents of girls themselves due to non-availability of this important facility.

A non-motorable two kilometre narrow stretch leading to the village from Warsun- A is making the things worse for these ignored villagers.

“We have to walk miles up a hillock to collect potable water from a small pond in the shape of head load and this is what we do most of the day. Trust me, the marriage proposals of local boys are being rejected by parents, who cite acute shortage of drinking water as the main reason,” said Fahmeeda Begum, a housewife hailing from the village.
“No parent wants her daughter to undergo such a back breaking job of carrying water buckets on her head for miles probably for the lifetime. As if this is not enough, the villagers have to take ration and other essentials to their homes on their heads due to a non-motorable road,” she added

A small pond at a hillock is the only potable source of water in the village, which has never seen water supply.
Khateeja Begum 55, echoed her views. “Sadly absence of this basic facility has become the main reason for rejection of marriage proposals of local boys, which some may not believe but is a fact. No parent wants to marry off her daughter in this village fearing she cannot withstand the arduous job of ferrying water for miles. Even the girls themselves reject the marriage proposals,”

The villagers said each time state assembly elections goes to the polls, the politicians visit the village to woo the voters promising them all round development but have done nothing even to address basic issues like water supply and the road.
“The concerned MLA assured us many times that the problems would be taken up with concerned agencies and addressed but his assurances never saw light of the day. Likewise our pleas fell on deaf ears of Public Health Engineering (PHE) officials, who did not even bother to visit the village once,” said Bashir Ahmad, a local resident.

The village is around 23 Kms from Kupwara headquarters.  “The critical patients including pregnant women are taken out of the village by locals on their shoulders. And then shifted to Kralpora hospital. We wonder if there is a government in place to listen to our woes,” said Ghulam Hassan, a local resident.

Khalid Jahangir, Kupwara Deputy Commissioner said he will get the feedback from concerned agencies.
“I cannot comment unless I speak to concerned agencies about the problems being faced by the villagers. Also I need to visit the village and see for myself,” Jahangir said. (Kashmir Wire)

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