Water is a basic necessity and a fundamental human need.. Access to clean, safe and secure water is an essential prerequisite for communities in both rural and urban settings to prosper. The United Nations considers universal access to clean water a basic human right, and an essential step towards improving living standards across the globe. While access to water and sanitation is often taken for granted in developed countries, this basic human need is denied to many across the globe every day. It is vital for our future that we begin conserving water now and take steps to avoid unnecessary waste.
Swasti through its WaSH program has been creating awareness on good sanitation and hygiene practices, safe access to water, proper usage and conservation of water.
My team and I went to the streets of Bommanahalli, to create Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WaSH) awareness among the poor and vulnerable. As we walked through the narrow streets, filled with small houses on each side, we came across a large water tanker. Surrounding this tanker were numerous women with buckets in both hands waiting eagerly in line for their turn. I learnt that this was a common occurrence due to the shortage of water. Upon reaching Gulbarga Jopdi, we were greeted by a large crowd of residents and excited children. We gathered the children outside in a group and began the interactive sessions. We wanted to find out the extent of their knowledge on water and its conservation. With the help of illustrative pictures in our flipbook, we started explaining the importance of water.
When I asked them where we find water, a girl, Meena was quick to say “lakes, ponds, wells rivers, ocean”. But when I asked her about where the water in her house came from,she said, she didn’t know. The children were aware of all the water sources available on earth, but were not sure as to where they and their families received water from. I explained to them that the amount of drinking water is limited and slowly decreasing and therefore conserving water is of paramount importance and needs immediate attention from all. Before we could complete our message, Asha, a small girl aged 10, put her hand swiftly, up into the air. She told us that they get water once a week and that this water is stored for the whole week for washing, bathing and drinking. But this conserved water, which is impure due to unhygienic storage, develops worms over a period of time, making it unusable, non-potable and wasted.
And sitting there, amidst all the children and their families, it struck me once again- while we are concerned about conservation of water, these individuals are still not able to access clean water.
This summer with water at a tipping point once again, our attention should be both on the universal access to safe and clean water and importance of water conservation.
Swasti along with its partners have provided clean and safe drinking water to 5980 households, 20 schools and Anganwadi Centres in 40 villages in Chikkaballapur through the establishment of RO plants in 10 villages. In addition, about 5085 women have benefited from awareness sessions on various topics related to water in Chikkaballapur, Bommanahalli and Gurgaon areas.
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