12. Reading Skills Comprehension: A Dalit Man

A Dalit Man

Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:                          

A Dalit man in drought-hit Maharashtra has given casteism a fitting reply. Stung after his wife was refused permission to draw water from a well owned by upper caste neighbours, BapuraoTajne set out to dig one of his own and struck water within 40 days.

Tajne and his family are residents of Kalambeshwar village in Washim district, and the well he dug is now used by the entire Dalit locality of the village.

 A daily wager, Bapurao had to set aside six hours every day for his mission, on top of working eight hours as a labourer, and battle ridicule from neighbours as well as his own family. Everyone thought he had gone crazy, wondering how one could ever find water in the rocky terrain, especially when three wells and borewell near the spot had gone dry.

Add to this the fact that it normally takes four to five people to dig a well and his lack of experience in digging wells putting Bapurao at a further disadvantage. Today, feted all over for his feat, Bapurao takes the higher ground and refuses to name the neighbours who denied his wife water.

 “I don’t want bad blood in the village. But I feel that he insulted us because we are poor and Dalits.

 I came home that day in March and almost broke down,” said Bapurao.

“I resolved then to never beg anyone for water. I went to Malegaon (the closest town), bought tools and, within an hour, I started digging,” he added. “I prayed fervently to god before starting the job. I am thankful that my effort has been rewarded,” he said.

“It is difficult to explain what I felt in those days (digging the well). I just wanted to provide water for my whole locality so that we Dalits do not have to beg for water,” said the labourer, who has studied up to BA third year.

Bapurao has received wide-spread recognition — the Sarpanch visited his house and praised him, a Marathi channel aired a programme on him, and actor Nana Patekar spoke to him over the phone and promised to meet him soon. But Bapurao is too proud to ask for help. “When the tehsildar asked me what sort of help I needed, I told her to do whatever she thought appropriate,” he said.


1.A Dalit man in………….. Maharashtra has given casteism a fitting reply.

2. His wife was refused…………… owned by upper caste neighbours.

3. Taj set out to dig one of his own wells and………… 40 days.

4. Besides working eight hours as a labourer, Bapurao set aside……………..

5. Lack of experience in digging wells put Bapurao………………..

6. Bapurao takes the higher moral ground and refuses to name…………..

7. Bapurao resolved then never ………………..

8. For this great feat,Bapurao received ………………



2. permission to draw water from a well

3. struck water within

4. six hours every day for digging the well

5. at a further disadvantage

6. the neighbour who denied his wife water

7. to beg anyone for water

8. wide-spread recognition

Download the above Passage in PDF Worksheet (Printable)

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