India is an incredible country, a country where one has the freedom to do whatever he wishes to and the freedom to choose his own path of life. India recently has made great progress and has made a name for itself in the India. When people all over the world think of India, they think of a country which has given spirituality to the world, a country which has not only propagated peace and non-violence but followed the same religiously. People think of India as a country which has gifted meditation and yoga to the world which has enhanced lives of millions of people. They also think of India as a country for which ‘Diversity’ is the biggest asset.
Unity in diversity is the beauty of India. Though we are a peace-loving nation who believe in co-existence, there are a minuscule number of people in India who stand in contrast with the overall nature of Indians. Though the country is making great progress and Indians are uniting by breaking the age-old barriers, there are a few instances where we have to get embarrassed owing to the narrow-mindedness of a few citizens of the country. In the age where people make use of social media and mainstream media to gather limelight and momentary fame by exposing the caste problems in India, Bapurao Tajne, a Dalit, dug well to help his wife and fellow villagers get access to water.
It was when Bapurao Tajne’s wife was refused the permission to draw water from well and was insulted that he decided to dig a well all by his own in order to stop his wife from going to the owner of the well to seek permission to draw water from the well. Bapurao Tajne, a daily-wage worker, could not give up working as that would mean no bread and butter at home. So he used to go to work and then before, and after the work, he would spend time digging up the well.
“I don’t want to name the well owner for I don’t want bad blood in the village. However, I feel that he insulted us because we are poor and Dalits. I came home that day in March and almost cried. 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,” Tajne told TOI at his modest home.
“I prayed fervently to God before starting the job. I am thankful that my effort has been rewarded,” he said.
Though he was trying to help the community and the villagers around get easy access to water, he did not receive any help from fellow villagers. Even his own family members mocked him and did not lend a hand of support in his cause. He was mocked before he had taken on a task to dig up a well on a rocky mountain where three wells and a borewell nearby which had gone dry. Though Bapurao faced a lot of criticism and name-calling, some to the extent of calling him insane, that did not stop him from realizing his dream of digging up a well.
Usually digging well takes the labor of 4-5 people, but Bapurao alone did the work and dug up a well in 40 days. He had devoted six hours every day to dig the well and finally after 40 days of hard work he finally got access to water. He did not conduct any hydrological study to find a suitable spot neither did he consult experts in the field. He selected the spot on intuition, and this fact assumes importance because people never thought he would be able to find water on a rocky mountain.
His wife Sangita who rather than helping her husband had taken the side of family members and mocked him, now regrets mocking at him. She says, “I did not help him a bit until he struck water. Now the whole family, except the two kids, helps him as he deepens and widens the well. It is already 15 feet deep, and Bapurao wants to dig 5 feet further. It is 6 feet wide at the top, and he wants to make it 8 feet wide. We are hoping our neighbours will help us in this task,” she said.
Jaishree, a neighbour, thanks Tajne for his efforts which have helped them a great deal. “Thanks to Tajne we get water round the clock. Earlier, we had to travel a kilometer to another part of the village and get insulted sometimes.”
Bapurao Tajne is being recognized by the people in the administration and also social workers for his amazing work of helping the Dalit Community. As a Marathi channel aired his amazing work, the Malegaon Tehsildar met him and ensured all possible support from the administration, Washim, a social worker gifted him Rs. 5,000 and Nana Patekar called him and promised to meet him soon.
We at Abdul Kalam Fan Club hope that this story inspires you to work for bringing unity in the country rather than cribbing about the caste differences prevalent in the country. We have to remember that the country is made up of people and it is our actions that define the image of the country. So the next time you want the country to have a great image in the world do remember to do great deeds as only your good actions will bring good name to the country. Do share this amazing story with your friends and family to make them understand how India is changing and how people are taking actions to become self-reliant rather than cribbing about the inadequacies.