Thirumaran writes: "We have never experienced such a terrible drought. The rain fall failed. The senior most village citizens are saying that they never experienced this kind of drought for the past 20 years.
All the wells in the surrounding area and the bore hole have failed totally. The farmers are sad. No cultivation. People are selling their cattle because there is no grass and greenery for them to eat. Even the cost of hay has become high.
The well at the TRUST Children's Home has dried up. It is near about 60 feet depth. (This picture was taken about a year ago.) The two side bore holes we drilled a year ago inside the well have also failed. The two bore holes that supplied water for the Children's Home are almost failing and giving just 100 litres of water by using the motor for an hour. So this month the electricity bill was more than 10,000 rupees (about £100). Click on any picture to see a larger version
We tried to buy water, bringing it in by tractor every day by spending 800 to 1000 rupees (£8 - £10) and you know how difficult that cost is for us. But there is no other way; we are still buying water.
Now for the past 2 weeks we have tried a different thing. Three kilometers away from our village, there is a huge pipe line going to another village carrying river water. There is a “check point” made by the TWAD Board (Tamilnadu Water and Drainage) and luckily there is a leak! If we wait for 10 minutes we can get 15 litres to 20 litres. (Lot of time)
We purchased and cleaned some plastic containers (250 litres 100 litres, 35 litres and 20 litres) and 4 or 5 staff members carry them to the leaky pipe, fill the small ones and then fill the huge ones in the vehicle. We are paying extra for our staff to go for water. They have to wait there for a long time because the surrounding public is also coming there for water. Preference has to be given to the public with priority for women and old people. We wait, fill all the containers and come back. This is happening every day afternoon.
I am really sorry that for the first time we are using our free Ambulance vehicle for bringing water to our children. (Thanks to the British volunteer and her father who donated this ambulance 10 years ago)
My main work is going with them now. My elder son Aaekalivan has just finished his schooling (+2). He's now in his vacation and waiting for college education and he is also coming with us to help. We are really happy to work for our children, to quench their thirst, bring water for cooking, washing and cleaning.
We are sad with the coconut trees in the campus. Because of the lack of water we couldn’t do any agriculture this year. During the previous years we have cultivated bringal, tomatoes, lady’s finger, little onions, papaya, some corns for evening tea, plantain and all. This year we couldn’t successfully do anything in the land.
Happily, the 2 bore holes at TRUST Boys’ Home are giving a little more water than the bore holes at TRUST Children's Home. But the usage of motor and elelctricity is huge there. Big electricity bill! But lucky boys! With a lot of “self interest” the boys are bringing a bucket of water near some tree or plant every morning, they wash and give water to the plant. “Two in one!”.
For taking bath we some times bring 8 to 10 children to our house and to the next door behind the TRUST office. We are managing the situation with your blessings and support.
The “Well digging Project” at the Boys' Home is going smoothly with the help of “great magnanimous people”. We are now nearly down to 30 to 35 feet. At about 60 to 75 feet we can plan for side bore holes, although now in this drought that is not agreeable. The water table is so poor.
Read more about the Well Digging Project by clicking here
Apart from the existing issues now the “water issue” is joining hands. What can we do? What steps can be taken to overcome the water problem?
1) Another side bore well can be done in different direction inside the existing well at TRUST Children Home which is nearly 60 feet deep with 2 side bore holes at about 55 to 58 feet depth which have totally failed recently, a month or so ago.
2) Another deep bore well can be drilled at TRUST Children's Home (for more than 1000 feet.)
3) A tractor with a tank fixed could be purchased second hand and bring water for both the homes everyday. Only the diesel cost is there. Our driver or myself can drive that vehicle. There is no need to purchase water and from the “River water Pipe line Leakage” we can fill up the tank and bring for the children.
The photos were taken on various days will show you the situation, the work we are doing and the need. You can click on any picture to see a larger version