M. Bhagyamma at her job as system operator.
From all of us at Safe Water Network, thank you for your generous support of our work in India. Since the September 2010 launch of our GlobalGiving campaign, we have raised nearly $8,000. With your help, the people of Pochampalli and Katrapalli in southern India are now successfully operating and maintaining their own Safe Water Stations.
Excessive levels of fluoride in Pochampalli and Katrapalli's local, untreated water was causing fluorosis, a debilitating disease common in India. Today, children no longer miss school due to water-related illnesses and nearly 2,000 families are living healthier and more productive lives.
Safe Water Network continues to work with these communities to build the demand for safe water through health and hygiene education (read about our innovative Tablet-based water education campaign here) and will remain a partner even as these communities become more self-sufficient.
As we bring our GlobalGiving campaign to a close, we‘d like to share a few stories about how your support has helped us transform lives in Pochampalli, Katrapallii and many other villages throughout India. We hope you continue to follow our work, and we welcome your support in the future! If you haven’t already, sign up for our eNewsletter.
Meet M. Bhagyamma
M. Bhagyamma is Safe Water Network's first female water station operator and is part of a new movement of enterprising women in rural India, assuming roles traditionally filled by men.
It was no surprise to her neighbors that she became a water station operator. Bhagyamma is the leader of the village Self-Help Group, an organization committed to empowering women by providing small loans to its members for entrepreneurial activities. She also oversees the mid-day school lunch program. "My wife knows everyone in the village," says her husband. "She spreads the word as to the importance of using safe water and her friends are now our best sales people."
Meet Subhash Reddy
Subhash Reddy saw his first Safe Water Network community-led water station while visiting a friend in a neighboring village. An entrepreneur and former rice mill operator, Subhash realized on his visit that if he was having trouble identifying a reliable source of clean water, others must also be in need. What Subhash lacked in funds, he more than made up for in initiative. He spoke to Safe Water Network, met with village leaders and ultimately ended up investing some of his own money to launch a water station for his community. With the help of our local partners, Subhash received technical assistance and enrolled in our comprehensive training program. Subhash is now looking at expanding his reach into a nearby community that currently lacks an affordable, reliable source of safe water.
The Samithi committee in Mahabubabad, comprised of village elders and leaders, saw great benefits in a community owned and operated water system, but despite community financial contributions and support from Safe Water Network, they still did not have enough funding to launch a system. Chaitanya, with a mechanical background and a keen interest in running a business, offered to donate land he owned in exchange for the rights to operate the village water station. Chaitanya’s undeveloped land was being used by cattle and as an informal dumping ground by the town. The cleanup of his land prior to construction inspired those living nearby the station to do the same with their land. Today, the impact of the station has transformed this part of the village, and the neighborhood is a healthy place to congregate and purchase safe water.
Chaitanya, entrepreneur & operator in Mahabubuabad
Subhash Reddy, entrepreneur and system owner.