Yavatmal: Vadad (Brahmi) in Pusad assembly constituency was reportedly the first village in the state to install two RO purifiers to a common well about three years ago. The purifiers are lying defunct for almost two years, compelling the villagers to fetch water from the well which has high presence of flouride, making it unfit for human consumption.
Husband of one of the villagers, Kantabai Pawar, died due to kidney ailment allegedly caused by drinking the well water. “So far, 42 villagers have died due to kidney ailments,” she claimed.
As per the villagers, many are suffering from kidney ailments. TOI could get names of a few patients, including Anita Chavan, Ravindra Chavan and Indel Pawar. “My brother died due to kidney issues,” said Indel Pawar.
Vadad (Brahmi) and Sevadas Nagar Gat is a gram panchayat with a population of over 7,000. Sevadas Nagar is a Banjara Tanda (hamlet). A majority of the inhabitants of Vadad, situated on the fringes of a thick forest, are tribals and predominantly farm labourers.
The poor villagers cannot afford to buy water cans from nearby villages. Anita Chavan said, “About 70% kidney patients are critical. We can’t even purchase medicines.”
Kantabai’s husband Dilip was on medication for four years but when his condition started deteriorating, she donated her kidney to save him and spent huge amount on his treatment. “He survived for about two and a half years before succumbing to the ailment,” she said and added that five members of her family have died due to kidney ailments.”
The gramsevak has given Rs3 lakh each to a private agency to repair the purifiers, but the work is going on at a slow pace.
Swati Paddhan, who was elected sarpanch a year ago, said, “There is no other water source other than the well with high presence of fluoride. A number of representations have been given to the district collector and ZP chief executive officer, but to no avail.
TOI’s attempts to contact the collector and ZP CEO in this regard met with no response. TOI could contact Kali Dhaulat Khan primary health centre (PHC) in-charge Dr Narendra Ade, who blamed the gram panchayat and said it should provide safe drinking water to the villagers. “We have started a survey two days ago. It may go on for another 3-4 days and thereafter we will submit a report to the higher authority, Dr Ade said.
Shetkari Sanghatna district president Manish Jadhav has demanded an FIR be registered under IPC for culpable homicide against the officials concerned.