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55-year-old woman's efforts to build well for Anganwadi children bear fruit

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Sirsi (Karnataka), Feb 13 (PTI) An initiative of a 55-year-old woman to dig an open well to ensure drinking water supply to the children of an Anganwadi in a scarcity-hit locality here has caused a flutter.

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Gouri Naik, an areca nut seller, whose effort won praise from locals, was stopped by officials of the Women and Child Welfare department after she dug up 12 feet and warned her of action.

"I started digging this well daily from January 30. I have previously dug a 70-foot open well at home to support my areca trees. This time I am digging an open well for the children, " Gouri said.

The official action was opposed by hundreds of people who gathered in front of the Anganwadi on Monday and refused to close the well at any cost.

“We all stand by Gauri. Authorities should stop harassment. Instead of supporting Gauri who is doing good work, action should be taken against the officials who are coming in her way,” the protesters said.

Facing public backlash, officials backtracked and gave a verbal permission after citizen group "Sirsi Jeeva Jala task force" president Srinivas Hebbar visited the place and announced that they would construct a compound wall for the Anganwadi, a ring for the well to cover it, and install a pump and overhead tank. PTI COR AMP RS SDP ROH

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