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Men of drought hit Indian village marry women to get water for the family


Denganmal(India): In a remote Indian village where there is no drinking water, men are marrying multiple women, so that they can collect water for the family.
For villagers of Denganmal in western India, the only source of drinking water is two wells which locates at the foot of a nearby rocky hill.
As the spot is so distant the sweltering walk and wait because of heavy rush can take hours to collect water.
For Sakharam Bhagat and for many in the village which locates 85 miles away from Mumbai, the answer was a ‘Water Wife’.
Bhagat, 66, who is working as a day laborer on a farm in a nearby village has now three wives.
Two of them were married by him earlier solely to ensure his household.
Now with the support of the three wives, he has enough water to drink and cook with.
According to him, marrying once again was the only option to get enough water.
He said that his first wife was busy with the kids. When his second wife fell sick, there was none to fetch water and thus decided to marry a third woman
Bhagat and his family have been suffering from the consequences of a critical shortage of safe drinking water.
The remote Indian villages in the Maharashtra state are said to be suffering from severe drought, the worst they faced in a decade.
India is again facing the threat of a severe drought this year, with monsoon rains expected to be weaker than average.
According to villagers, marrying for water had been a common practice there for many years.
Bhagat’s wives all live in the same house with him but have separate rooms and kitchens.
Two of them are entrusted with fetching water, while the third manages the cooking.
Among the three wives of Bhagat, some of them are either widows or abandoned.
All the three are very happy with the arrangement.
Even though polygamy is illegal in India, water wives of this village are a common tradition.


Video on water wives in drought hit Indian villages