Nagpur: His achievement might not resonate in the same tenor as other historical edifices, but Bapurao Tajne’s story is not a small feat. After having been refused access to well-water in the village by the owner pertaining to his Dalit identity, Bapurao dedicated himself to a single task for the next 40 days: Digging a well.
The incident comes from Kalambeshwar village in Wahim district, a daunting rocky terrain for well-diggers, where Bapurao Tajne’s wife went to a local well to draw water. But upon reaching the spot, the owner of the well refused Tajne and his wife access to the water and insulted their plight.
Hardened by the cruel rejection based on his identity and status, Tajne vowed never to beg water from anyone ever again. So, for the next 40 days, the enfeebled man started digging the ground without any geographical knowledge about the surface.
“I only prayed to god before digging,” says Tajne, who dug relentlessly for 6 hours every day for 40 days.
Despite being mocked for his resolution, Tajne continued the ordeal. And at the end of 40 days, his labor bore fruit. The well not only provided him with adequate water, but it also provided water to all the people in the locality.
Asked about the owner who refused him access to his well, Tajne said, “I don’t want to name the well owner for I don’t want bad blood in the village.”
“He insulted us because we were poor and Dalits,” ruminates Tajne, who admitted to almost crying in March when the instance occurred.
Now Tajne is being declared a hero all over the state news, and his wife, astounded by her husband’s determination, draws water without being reminded about her plight, status, and identity.