‘Dig up a well when your house is in fire’.This old dictum seems to have gained significance in the context of Jharkhand where the state government has initiated a move to prevent casualty after a dozen of children had died in its farm ponds across the state.

The move was in the form of a directive issued by the Chief Minister Raghubar Das to put up ‘Red Flags’ along the land in the state government built farm ponds called Dobha.A directive was issued to plant trees on the bed of every farm pond.

As of now nearly two lakh farm ponds were built by the state government with an aim to save rain water and use it for irrigation purpose.However,after these Dobhas were built,a dozen children had drowned themselves to deaths.

“The land was used by children to play.Suddenly,the state government built the pond.There was no move to even build stair case in the Dobha.As a result,children got drowned and many parents lost their kids”,said a parent who does not want to get identified.

Now,with the CM coming up with a directive to put up ‘Red Flags’ along the bed of each of these Dobhas,there is a hope the death can be prevented.However,in the hilly areas of the state where there were three kinds of land-up,middle and low land,Dobhas can save water in its low lying land.

“In the up and middle lands,the rain water fed Dobha can never save water in the post monsoon season.This means that the water of the Dobha can not be saved by farmers for cultivation in winter and summer season”,said a farmer.

In any case,the deaths have occurred with the onset of monsoon that has led to the ponds filling up. The government, which has planned six lakh such dobhas by the year-end, of which around 1.75 lakh have already been dug up, says it has been making efforts to educate village residents to keep children away from the ponds. It, however, has also put the onus of ensuring safety on farmers on whose lands the dobhas come up.

*Representational Picture Courtesy-isapindia.org

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