‘Weight of the water’ is a portrayal of water crisis in the North Western Himalayan region in India. By specifically focussing on story of young women who are at the receiving end, this project explores the intersection of this global crisis, juxtaposed with the local issues of deep gender biases in the region and dangerous terrain. Uttarakhand, a state in North-western India, is an Himalayan state with more than 16 rivers criss- crossing the region. Yet mindless construction and rampant deforestation is propagating an acute water crisis. In most of the villages ground water is severely depleted and access to water is a major challenge. The national commission for women reports that women in rural households often spend 6-9 hours a day on water duties and this becomes an even more challenging task when women have to climb up and down in hilly terrain in the deep forests to fetch water. Until two decades ago, villagers were mostly relying on natural water sources. Natural streams (dhara) and traditional water storage methods (Nauala) were lifelines, wherever the river water couldn’t reach. Now, women often walk upto 5 kilometres to find water sources. Due to deep gender biases the responsibility to fetch the water is solely on women and teenage girls. It affects both their health and education in unimaginable ways. This project portrays how a global crisis affect women severely due to the deep rooted patriarchy in the region.

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