Welcome to Baroli Village, a hotbed of despair

As you head towards the holy city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, you can see a remote village rising up on the outskirts. This is Baroli, just 35 km from the city of Mathura. It is home to nearly 500 families who live in harmony with each other. However, they have an enemy, the failing village waste management system. What they say “is a toxic curse” that kills them slowly, but steadily.

They are not exaggerating, because the stench grips you as soon as you enter the village. Reeling from the risk of contracting dangerous diseases, the villagers feel like they are living in hell. According to resident Shyamlal Singh, “Garbage ends up in a common lake which eventually contaminates groundwater. We cannot use this water for any purpose.

His neighbor Arun said: “There is a threat of contact with deadly diseases like dengue fever and malaria in the village. The increasing level of waste is a breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes. According to him, more than 10 children have died here due to lack of medical care.

Beyond its bad roads and piles of trash, untreated trash in a common body of water is what people are most worried about. However, bags of garbage and household waste are dumped in one place. This untreated sewage sludge is washed into the largest dirt pond.

Another villager who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “In the past few years, the leaders and members of the guilds didn’t even bother to visit the village. During the elections, they will come to vote and make false promises that have shaken our confidence. The majority of the people here earn between 100 and 150 rupees a day by plowing the fields, which have also been in distress for some years.

According to another resident, Shyamwati, the village panchayats are not able to solve the problems. The panchayats claim they don’t have enough funds. “The stench of garbage has made our homes hell,” she added.

Another challenge was the loss of farming as a way to make ends meet. Groundwater is so toxic that it cannot be used for irrigation. This forced many villagers to look for other ways to earn a living.

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