There was once a time when the Paravara river in Kolhar - in drought-hit Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district - used to bless the region with its flow. But today things have drastically changed. The severe drought has left the river bed dry with almost no water left even to perform the last rites of deceased loved ones.
According to report published in the Times of India, people in the area now resort to either digging the river bed for whatever water is left or renting water tanks to immerse the ashes.
No water for the living, no water for the dead
Once a perennial river, the Paravara is reportedly now a dry river bed lined with remains of dead cattle and birds. What catches one's attention is, however, the advertisements like the one on the wall of a bridge which reads: "Water tankers for dashkriya vidhi are available here."
The people who cannot actually afford such tankers are reportedly throwing the ashes in the dry river bed or burying them.
However, the river is their final destination. For years, the river reportedly has been the lifeline of the village. The residents now reminisce fondly about a time when the river water catered to their everyday needs.
Human greed, reckless extraction of water, digging of borewells and most importantly, sand mining from the river bed has completely destroyed the river's ecology. Now the villagers only get tap water for 15-20 minutes every 10 days.