While Dashrath Manjhi in Bihar carved out a 360 foot road along a hillock in memory of his wife, Phalguni Devi, this 17-year-old boy from Settisara village in Sagar taluk has dug a 55-ft-deep open well on his own to reduce the hardship of his mother, who had to make repeated trips to the public well to get water for the family every night after returning home from work.
In the Malnad region, every household with a decent income will have an open well in its backyard.
However, due to poverty, Pavan Kumar’s family could not have such an open well.
His father, Vinayak Hegde, works as a cook and his mother, Nethravathi, works at a printing unit in Sagar.
Pavan’s mother, after returning from work late in the evening, used to make several trips to the local well, about half a kilometre away, to fetch water for the family.
Pavan Kumar, a PU student, said: “I decided to find a permanent solution for the problem by digging a well at the backyard of my house.”
Following advice from Kannappa, a local hydrology expert, Pavan identified the right location for the well and began digging on February 26. As his family could not afford to hire labourers, he worked single-handedly. He took a break of 10 days in March for writing the first PU exam.
After completing the exam, he resumed work and finished digging the well on April 20, working nearly 45 days on the project. “It was really hard to dig the rocky ground under the scorching sun. Finally, at the depth of 53 ft, when water oozed out, I was filled with a sense of fulfilment. After digging two more feet, I completed the work. I am happy that my mother now has respite from having to rush to the public well after coming home from work,” said Pavan.