It’s a thirsty time of year – but what if the only water you had caused diarrhoea and carried fatal diseases?
This is reality for many in India’s Tansa Valley.
Nearly 75% of all diseases in India are due to contaminated water. Diarrhoea kills many children every year. It causes weight loss and stunted growth, as well as vitamin deficiencies which cause malnutrition. Malnourished children are more likely to get sick and be sick for longer; more likely to drop out of school, earn less and live in poverty.
The good news is that many waterborne diseases are preventable. Investing in clean water and sanitation offers excellent returns that can break this cycle.
With your help, PRASAD works with communities to improve sanitation and bring them water free from filth, bacteria and parasites that carry cholera, typhoid and jaundice, and cause diarrhoea.
Did you know water and sanitation are human rights?
In 2010, United Nations resolution 64/292 recognized the human right to water and sanitation. It also acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights. Read more…
Point of use purification
Heavy duty Swatch filters are cheap, simple and suited to rural homes. Filter life depends on local water quality and usage. PRASAD finds one filter provides a family of five with affordable drinking water for 4 – 6 months. Villagers pay 40% of the filter’s discounted cost.
Your $12 gift can bring a family months of clean drinking water
PRASAD Chikitsa staff talking at community meetings about the health and financial benefits of pure drinking water and availability of subsidized water filters.
Clean water changes lives
Mrs Kavita Adga and family from Koshimshet Village struggled to make ends meet. After rice paddy season the parents left home to work in brick factories. The children fended for themselves but often fell ill, needing a parent back to care for them.
Kavita learnt about the benefits of clean drinking water at her PRASAD Self-Help Group, and sought help. Six months access to filtered water had a dramatic effect.
The family thrived, health costs dropped, the parents were free to earn. The children attended school regularly, carrying water bottles filled from home.
Kavita said, “Being Adivasi [tribal] we couldn’t afford or even dream of buying a water filter…. Now we are free of many diseases which were very common in our family, thanks to PRASAD Chikitsa.”
When wells go dry
May 2015: three tribal hamlets, Tambadmal, Ambakaspada and Karelapada, faced severe shortages. Even at dawn, their wells had barely 2 or 3 pots of water. Fetching water, traditionally a woman’s job, meant a daily 1 – 2 km trek or a dangerous climb into deep wells or ponds.
Official Avenues failed but PRASAD responded. When staff heard of the crisis via the local Self-Help Group, they quickly reviewed efforts to get help, assessed local needs and options. A well-researched proposal secured TATA Motors funding for the Sumant Mulgaonkar Development Foundation to drill new wells and install hand pumps.
In June 2015 each village had a new well and hand pump. Locals were trained to maintain them and make simple repairs. In all three communities, convenient access to water had replaced the daily trek to the river or a parched well with a heavy can.
Ambakaspada’s schoolteacher, Mr Dattatreya Thakare, said: “This is indeed prasad [a blessed gift] …. we will never forget the efforts taken by PRASAD Chikitsa, standing by us during this critical situation.”
Water and soil conservation
PRASAD’s Water and soil conservation initiative targets better water management by equipping villagers to combat soil erosion and keep drinking wells pure. Villagers and Women’s Self-Help Groups, like Ghotogon’s, are helped to make dams; restore bunds or embankments to prevent run off; remove waste and silt from wells and keep surrounds clean. Organic farming reduces the pollution of ground and surface water.
Our supporters: Dr Doug, Jude and Ella Davis
“We love what PRASAD does in India.”
Dr Doug and Jude Davies and their family are long time supporters.
Their Enerchi Medical Clinic in Melbourne, which offers Chinese Traditional Medicine and other natural health modalities, has helped individuals find a balance in body, mind and spirit for more than 25 years.
Their daughter Ella, the Clinic’s Practice Manager, said “we were looking for a way to give back. PRASAD made sense. We feel aligned to their values, and their work does so much for tribal communities who don’t have many options.”