THE WATER GRANNY - Arjunabettahalli, Karnataka, India
Updated: Dec 6, 2019
Laura Kubiak, Founder of H2YOU Project
During my yoga teacher training in Arjunabettahalli, a small village in India, I met one of the most inspiring women – the Water Granny. I was led to her while on a visit to the village school. I asked the school children, “Where does your water come from?” They pulled me by my hand for an impromptu field trip. As we approached a well near a small lake, I thought they were taking me to their water source. Instead, they walked right past it, which was not a surprise, as a closer look showed that the lake was drying up because of the surrounding invasive plants sucking up the precious resource. So the Indian government intervened by drilling a very deep bore well. The first few hundred feet of earth was bone dry; only after several hundred feet of drilling did the well finally deliver. To ensure that the village would never again run out of water, they implored the Water Granny to be in charge of all water in Arjunabettahalli. She is the only one allowed to turn on the taps that turn on each home’s water access, flowing from above ground pipes. Whatever amount the Water Granny rations for each of the village's ninety homes is the daily allowance for each family to drink, wash dishes, cook with, and to quench their precious family cow’s thirst. No more, no less. She checks each home’s water pipes to ensure there are no leaks, for there is not a drop to spare. As I admired the children’s reverence to their Water Granny, they were surprised by my amazement, asking, “Don’t you have a Water Granny, ma’am?” Water Granny’s job is a very important, sacred duty, and reminds us to take care of what we have.