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    Gowri: The Bagarathi - Rani Rathna Prabha K V

    "A woman is the full circle, within her is the power to create, nurture and transform".
    - Diane marieluid

    'Bagiratha' legend has it that, he had penanced for thousands of  years to bring the river Ganges to earth from her divine abode. Here is a woman , who did not penance but went on to prove no less a legendary.

    Gowri C Naik
    Gowri C Naik popular as ' Lady Bagiratha' of sirsi, uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. A 52 year frail and quiet woman has done something phenomenan. There has always been a distinction between the physical and mental ability of men and women ever since the time of Adam and Eve. And it still remains a sensational topic for all sorts of frivolous  arguments.

    Past few decades have witnessed women  competent enough in proving their ability In almost all the fields in various capacities, of them, many have been recognised and acclaimed too,  for their contribution and achievement.

    Gowri C Naik with her son
    But through ages along side, there are women, who within the confinement of four walls and with  all sorts of limitations and restrictions have pushed themselves beyond their strengths in doing unbelievable things to keep not just  their families but more.

    Gowri c Naik , is not an exception. Coming from a simple agriculture based family, working in arecanut farms for survival, Gowri has none  except her son who runs a petty shop and a daughter who is married away. Gowri owns a house, two wells in front of it and at the backyard has 150 arecanut trees, 20 coconut and plantain trees, and a variety of  plants.

    With the summers becoming more and more dry and cruel by years, water hit  the dry patch, and it became very difficult to maintain the farm, and Gowri couldn't bear to see her trees and plants die a gradual death deprived of water, it left her bereaved and sleepless,  her financial condition too was not favourable to go for a borewell or for  any other revival measures. She starved in tears many a nights fearing she may lose her trees and plants.
    On one such night it stuck her, a weird thought, that she should dig a well at her backyard. But her idea was not supported by her family, therefore she decided to dig a well àll by herself while her children  were away.

    She identified a spot that she felt right to dig the well and began her herculean task,only  with the help of  crowbar, sickel and a Pikachu.That was 22 January 2017, she started working on her well. She would wait until the children left and would work for seven to eight hours a day, which her neighbours too, did not notice.Her daughter got to know about this when the well was dug ten feet and she got angry with her mother for putting herself in such physical strain and told her to stop the task immediately because it is going to be a futile attempt.

    Gowri , however was not a woman who would give up on her work or her farm that easily.she paid no heed and the next morning, as if to encourage her guts, she found the soil wet at a corner. Gowri was assured and there was no stopping after that. Every day the well went three to four feet down, initially it left her torn in pain but though not discouraged. As the work progressed it was arduous for her to remove the mud and load it other side. she had to make several trips up and down loading  and unloading. She made small footholds to get down, and tied her basket to a supportive rope and after filling  would pull it up.

    When I heard about Gowri , I was awstruck with disbelief . All my life till now I don't remember to have dug half a foot of ground even to plant a sapling, and here is a woman who, in her fifties have dug a well all alone that too with the help of crowbar, sickel and things as such which was not just impossible but unimaginable for me. when I met her , I was almost speechless because she looked a very ordinary woman whose saree must have weighed more than her. I wondered from where she drew her energy to do this, and felt myself very feeble standing against her.

    As the well reached fourty feet, water springed , People got to know, Gowri took help of two women since it was taking a toll, every time she has to dispose the mud. Exact two months from her start, Gowri had a well of sixty feet.

    That night she felt a lot of pain, because still there was no much water and her physical ailments began to bother. She did not eat her dinner that night, Moreover her  children were upset with her doings and worried about her health. she spent the rest of the night in tears, it was her trees and plants haunting her. She suffered like a mother for her kids, begging God for aid.  As if God could not bear to see her tears, the next morning when Gowri went to her well , it was joyfully springing. Gowri  couldn't believe her own eyes, the soil invisible under red water. the Ganga had flown down for Gowri. The rest is history.
    You should come to see the Ganga, I cannot explain, you should experience her ,she said.
    Gowri C Naik with the Author 
    As I went there, she was eager to  take to the well , just by looking the well sixty feet  down I gasped, as I was still looking she held the rope and got into the well afew foot down already, I screamed out my heart asking her to get back, she smiled and obliged. It was like a kind of rope act in circus. The well had more than six foot of water. Her trees and plants all lush green briming with life. Gowri too.
    Gowri is been awarded by various organizations there after. She is invited as guest and motivational speaker in schools and colleges. Various organisations and agriculturists along with curious onlookers like me visit her to have a glimpse of her and the well. She asks the visitors to come after twelve in the noon ,so that she could attend them after her work in the farm. She  greets you warmly and takes to her well to explain it all over again.  Gowri has no expectations from anybody, she still remains  hardworking and humble as ever , working her way to keep her home and her incredible farm.

    A woman of indomitable spirit, ask her how she could do it , she may tell,  'Where there is will there is a well'.

    About the Author: Rani Rathna Prabha K. V. is an Assistant Professor of English at Government First Grade College Sirsi, Karnataka. She's an alumnus of Bangalore University.


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