It’s no potion but plain drinking water that disables otherwise perfectly fit residents of Baroli Aheer, a village near Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
And the cause of agony for the residents of this villages is an excessive fluoride content in the drinking water.
Every second person-children as well as adults-are suffering from deformed limbs, cataract, and premature ageing.
With the water sources drying up, only one source of water is left-a hand pump, which spews contaminated water.
“All this is due to contamination of our drinking water. Everyone is suffering. More than 40-50 people of different age groups are suffering. We have tried various treatments but nothing works,” said Rajkumari, a disabled girl.
Doctors attribute the problem to the excessive amounts of flouride, which is present in the drinking water.
“The water is the cause of all this. Fluorosis exceeds permissible limits and this is why patients of all ages are suffering and their bones are getting deformed. Some have even turned into invalids,” said D V Sharma, an orthopaedic surgeon.
Independent initiatives have confirmed that fluoride content in the water is between 3.5 and 4.5 ppm (particles per molecule), much higher than the average level.
Villagers said the local authorities are not of much help. However, district collector Niteshwar Kumar said efforts were on to supply purified water to the affected villagers.
“It has been brought to our notice and we are taking steps to lay a new water pipeline there,” said Kumar.
Several federal and voluntary agencies are also trying to provide potable water to the villagers.
Doctors say that surgery is the only solution for fluorosis, that too after the fluoride content in the body has been brought down.(ANI)