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A Decade Old Water Crisis & A Group Of Determined Women

Water, water, everywhere, not a drop to drink – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What do you do when you are thirsty? What do you do when you need to take bath or clean clothes and utensils? Are you one of them?
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Do you wait for the Delhi Jal Board to send a water tanker to your area?

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Do you see old people who can’t walk properly, filling numerous buckets just like them?

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Have you all done this as kids? Or are your children  doing the same just like these small girls?

This is more than one and a half decade old story now in Narela, North Delhi. The community had no idea that water can be tested until my host organization, Child Survival India, did a water testing there in 2015. Women especially have been facing severe condition due to it. There have been times when they  have fetched water from the nearby crematorium. Most of the families have the summer sewer setup at home now and few are even drinking that water. The situation of drinking water is worse. The Delhi Jal Board sends one water tanker in the community at one place where everybody come and fetch it. Few have understood that the water they have been drinking from various sources is non-drinkable, so they started purchasing Bisleri bottle. Child Survival India and Save The Children have been working in the area for many years now and after observing the gravity of the issue, have set up the water RO plant in the community of Narela from where one can have access to purified drinking water at very low cost – thus decrease the risk of water-borne diseases which is commonplace here.

The uniqueness of this project is that it is run by the women of the community and it is their responsibility to maintain the plant. That gives them the sense of responsibility and hence ownership towards their needs and the solution for the same. Women are also getting  empowered and are gaining the confidence through self sufficiency and that they can run the setup by themselves.

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Like they say, to a thirsty man, a drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold.

Thousands lived without love, but none without water. So SAVE WATER.

Sonali Sapna

2016 fellow, placed with Child Survival India in Delhi-NCR as part of her fellowship. Working on setting up the communication cell for the organization that primarily works on mother and child issues.

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