Men in drought-stricken Indian villages often take a second or even a third wife whose sole purpose is only to bring water to the family. They make several long trips to distant water sources every single day, carrying large vats of water on their heads.
Life is hard in dry villages, like Denganmal, 150 km from Mumbai. Husbands are busy farming and tending to the animals, while the women do house chores and raise the children. However, someone still needs to bring water from sources often several kilometers away, for about 8 months out of a year, when there is no rainfall in the area. That’s why having two or even three wives is not at all uncommon in these parts. The men only have children with their first wives, while the other’s sole purpose is to provide water for the family, in exchange for a roof over their heads and the social status of wife. They are paaniwaali bais, water wives.