A soak pit of hope

Story type
Case story
A soak pit of hope
WaterAid India/Pause Photography

Sixty-year-old Bala Raju from Shivampet village in Telangana comes from a family of farmers. He has five acres of land where he would grow flourishing crops, ready to be reaped during the harvest season. “But I am no longer a farmer; I am now a daily wage earner,” Raju said with an air of resignation, “I had to leave farming because of water problems.” An intervention by WaterAid India and AB InBev to recharge his bore well that is almost dry, however, has now brought hope to him. 


Bala Raju


Changes in weather patterns and increasing unpredictability of rains which is either too little or too much have spelled challenges of enormous magnitude for farmers everywhere, including here, in the Sangareddy district. Raju is no exception. “It was not like this earlier,” he said of a time gone by, “When I was young, there were enough rains for our farmland and our crops. There were no such problems. It was all manageable.”

But things began changing and the rains became unpredictable. For a farmer like Raju whose crops were rain-fed, this was not a good sign. “So a few years back, I installed a bore well in my field. But it did not give me relief for long—soon that dried up too. I had no water for my crops,” he said. Unable to sustain his livelihood, Raju gave up farming and began going for daily wage work to feed his family. “I go every day for daily wage work, like in construction sites, and earn Rs 600 a day. But I don’t get to work every day. That too is not a constant,” he said, “At least with farming I had dignity in my work. I miss that.