15 May, 2021

The Subcontinental Menu

Illustration by Saahil
The Subcontinental Menu

Helpline For Well-Wishers

It was 109 hours. That’s how long two-year-old Fatehveer was stuck in a 125-foot bore well this June in Punjab’s Sangrur district before rescuers pulled out his body. Within 48 hours, the state sealed over 45 borewells and set up a helpline where people can report such open death-holes—the ones that dot thirsty Haryana and Punjab, and have been swallowing children. But then, do we really care? Even if we do, nobody wants to annoy the water deity. A borewell cap costs less than Rs 1,000, but people believe that covering the mouth would attract the khwaja pir’s wrath. So, the child sacrifices continue. Besides, these bottomless burrows have been a source of prime-time entertainment ever since five-year-old Prince’s rescue from such a pit in 2006.

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