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Updated: June 26, 2012 10:40 IST

Water hunting

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The U.N. estimates that 1.2 billion people lack access to safe water and about 2.5 billion are without access to proper sanitation. Photo: S. Subramanium
The U.N. estimates that 1.2 billion people lack access to safe water and about 2.5 billion are without access to proper sanitation. Photo: S. Subramanium

Despite taking on occupations outside the family set up, women have not been able to shrug off their traditional role as providers of water for their kith and kin

On yet another parched and humid afternoon in the Capital that is reeling under a heat wave, the camera captures a woman vendor carrying her wares and simultaneously balancing a large earthen pot on her head. Even as she carries on with the business of selling huge plastic balls attached to her body, she looks for water resources to quench her family’s thirst. This once again proves the inexplicable link between women and water.

Women in rural areas have traditionally been the water providers in families, especially in developing countries, according to the United Nations. This has not changed despite them taking on occupations or moving to urban areas. In many developing countries, women and girls walk on average six kilometres each day to fetch water.

They carry around 20 kilograms on their heads. The U.N. estimates that 1.2 billion people lack access to safe water and about 2.5 billion are without access to proper sanitation.

PHOTO: S.Subramanium

Keywords: water scarcity

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