The two back-to-back incidents in Beed where children lost their lives to sunstroke after they went out of homes to fetch water have shocked the country.

And now comes a heart-breaking account of how people in the parched Beed are forced to buy mineral water to perform the last rites for the dead.

For representation / PTI

A report in The Hindu reveals how even in death, people in Maharashtrian district Beed have no access to a resource as basic as water.

In Beed, people go to the ghats of the ancient Rakshbuvan (Shani) temple, which is situated along the Godavari river for performing the funeral rites. However, the river has gone dry because it hasn't rained much for three years.

Godavari river in Beed when it wasn't dry / @jitendradixit

So people are paying hefty sums for arranging water tanker for bathing and other rituals, and mineral water to serve the guests.

A resident, Bhimrao Agarkar, recently performed the rites for his cousin Vitthal Sakhre, who died 10 days ago. He told The Hindu that he paid Rs 1,600 for a 3,000-litre water tanker, and arranged for mineral water for lunch for nearly 300 relatives and friends near the dry river, where temperatures are touching 42 degrees.

In fact, several talukas in Beed are completely dependent on tankers.

Feature image for representation. Source: Twitter/@bprerna