The single men hailing from the Dudu Town of India's Rajasthan are unable to find brides, as a result of the high fluoride content in its water. The excessive fluoride has given rise to several orthopedic problems in the people living in the area.
'I have two sons of marriageable age but all my efforts to find brides for them have failed due to the water problem,' said Ramji Lal Jat, a Dudu resident, who also added that the local people wanted to give their daughters in marriage to people living in other places.
Hariram Singh, a taxi driver from Boraj, a village close to state capital Jaipur, said no one wanted to knowingly put their daughters in trouble by marrying them to men from Dudu.
'I rejected a proposal for my daughter from a family living near Dudu as I would not like my daughter to live there even for a short while,' he remarked.
Ramji Lal Jat said people might have to shift out of the region if the situation did not improve. That option, however, is not easy for the long-time residents of Dudu.
'I have been here for the last 55 years. I cannot leave the place as all my fields and houses are here. The only thing we can do is to wait for a slow death from drinking the fluoride-contaminated water,' said Shankar Chaudhary, another resident of a village near Dudu.
Babulal Nagar, the legislator from Dudu, acknowledged the problem. 'Drinking water in the area is contaminated. The situation has become grave as people are not ready to marry their daughters in our area. If this continues, the day is not far when the town will be erased from Rajasthan's map'.
Nagar, who belongs to the opposition Congress Party, blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the problem. He said that while the former Congress Government had cleared a project in September 2003 to supply uncontaminated drinking water from Bilaspur dam to Dudu and nearby villages, the BJP Government had not pursued the project.