By Danish Siddiqui DENGANMAL, India (Reuters) - In the parched village of Denganmal, in western India, there are no taps. The only drinking water comes from two wells at the foot of a nearby rocky hill, a spot so crowded that the sweltering walk and wait can take hours. For Sakharam Bhagat, as for many others in the hamlet some 140 km (85 miles) from Mumbai, the answer was a 'water wife'. Bhagat, 66, now has three wives, two of whom he married solely to ensure that his household has water to drink and cook. "I had to have someone to bring us water, and marrying again was the only option," said Bhagat, who works as a day laborer on a farm in a nearby village. "My first wife was busy with the kids. When my second wife fell sick and was unable to fetch water, I married a third." Bhagat and his family are suffering the consequences of a critical shortage of safe drinking water in India's villages, as well as the fallout from the most severe drought that his state, Maharashtra, has faced in a decade. In Maharashtra, India’s third-largest state, the government estimated last year that more than 19,000 villages had no access to water. And India is again facing the threat of a drought this year, with monsoon rains expected to be weaker than average. In Denganmal, a cluster of about 100 thatched houses set on an expanse of barren land, most men work as farm laborers, barely earning the minimum wage. Marrying for water has been the norm here for many years, villagers said. Bhagat's wives all live in the same house with him but have separate rooms and kitchens. Two of them are entrusted with fetching water, while the third manages the cooking. Polygamy is illegal in India, but, in this village, "water wives" are common. "It is not easy to have a big family when there is no water,” Namdeo, another villager who has two wives, said. Bhagat says the women, some of them widows or abandoned, are also happy with the arrangement. “We are like sisters. We help each other. Sometimes we might have problems, but we solve them among ourselves,” his first wife, Tuki, said. (Writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Clara Ferreira Marques)
Actor Billy Baldwin chimed in as the Republican congressman's tweet spectacularly backfired.
The Senate minority leader previously said he had no hard feelings toward the men, but his actions said otherwise.
- Fox Weather
Doctors are warning of a dangerous fungal illness rapidly spreading across the country, especially those living or visiting the California and Arizona areas.
- Good Housekeeping
During a recent taping of 'Today With Hoda and Jenna,' NBC journalist Hoda Kotb called out Jenna Bush Hager for misunderstanding the topic discussed on the air.
- Business Insider
2 House Republicans caught saying Ilhan Omar removal was the 'stupidest vote in world' before begging reporters to not tell GOP leadership what they said
Two House Republicans blurted out what they really thought about Thursday's vote to oust Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar in what they thought was private.
- Buccaneers Wire
See what Rob Gronkowski had to say to Tom Brady following the GOAT's second retirement announcement
The debate might've been even weirder than we thought.
- NBC Sports BayArea
George Kittle always makes sure the vibes are in good shape on the 49ers' sideline. Even in a season-ending 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Trump says that if he's reelected he won't use the powers of the presidency to punish his enemies, but adds that he'd be 'entitled to a revenge tour'
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, Trump went on a tirade against news outlets that reported on Russian interference during the 2016 election.
- Miami Herald
An elementary school teacher in Homestead was charged Wednesday with having sex with one of his students. The relationship, police said the 13-year-old victim told them, was “romantic” after referring to him as her “boyfriend.”
Michele Gile provides continued coverage on the tragic incident that occurred in Dana Point on Wednesday, when a cyclist was struck from behind by a vehicle before the driver got out and stabbed him. Authorities have now identified both the victim and the suspect involved.
President Biden asked for military options after the balloon was spotted, according to defense officials
- USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
‘Just a Hall of Fame player that didn’t create controversy’: For Jordan Spieth, one LIV member is missed more than others
"He was a friend of mine. He is a friend of mine. I just haven't seen him. But I always really enjoyed playing with him and being around him."
In a new interview, Meghan Markle opens up about how she and Prince Harry were initially not able to afford their $14 million home in Montecito after stepping..
- Patriots Wire
This was Bill Belichick's statement regarding Tom Brady's retirement on Wednesday.
- Broncos Wire
Tom Brady is retiring again, and the Broncos had a perfect response.
Tom Brady is looking back at special times with the people closest to him, which include ex Bridget Moynahan, with whom he shares son Jack
Mahogany Geter, a model in Tennessee, was born with lymphedema in her left leg, which she says caused it to eventually swell to 100 pounds.
- Business Insider
AOC to GOP: Don't tell me you're condemning antisemitism when a Republican 'who has talked about Jewish space lasers' gets a plum committee assignment
"This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America," she says of the vote to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the foreign affairs committee.
- The Daily Beast
Shannon Stapleton/ReutersIn a racially tinged Truth Social post Thursday night, former President Donald Trump once again smeared the Capitol police officer who shot Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt. Trump wrote that he disagreed with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who told a reporter earlier in the day that Lt. Michael Byrd “did his job.”Despite having been exonerated by the Capitol Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police and the Justice Department, Byrd was nevertheless branded a “coward” and a “