In a village in Bihar’s Nawada district, about 80 per cent of the population is disabled due to the excessive presence of fluoride in drinking water.
Deprived of their childhood even before they could walk, the children, mostly Dalits in Kachhariadih village, have been crippled by fluorosis.
“I have become physically challenged due to contaminated water. Both my legs and hands are very weak. I can neither walk nor go to school,” said Hirawan Kumar, a child.
Villagers say that despite repeated promises over the last 15 years, the government has done nothing to treat the water they drink.
“The government had made a water tank but we are not getting any water supply. We are forced to drink the contaminated water due to lack of safe drinking water,” said Sudamia Devi, a villager.
Children worst hit
“Our children are becoming physically weak after consuming the contaminated water. They cannot even walk. Our condition is worsening day by day,” she said.
And safe drinking water continues to be a pipe dream.
“People of this village should get safe drinking water. I will investigate the matter within two days and ensure that the water board of that area provides safe
drinking water to the villagers,” said Prem Kumar, a Minister in Bihar.
Despite the Bihar government’s promise, the district administration is yet to take steps for improving the condition of these villagers.
They are still forced to drink the contaminated water which shows how the state government has failed to provide even proper health care.