Bringing clean water to villages across India
October 2015, India
Many rural villagers throughout India walk many miles daily to get water. Much of that water is contaminated and not healthy for consumption. As part of our own Amrita University's development project, we are focusing on providing clean water. In the villages of Hariampur in Rajasthan, Guptapada in Odisha, and Komalikudi in Kerala, pipelines have been laid, overhead water tanks built, pumps installed, and wells have been dug. Because of these developments, the villagers are now able to access water right in front of their homes.
In Hariampur, villagers were extremely grateful to Amma “for bringing water to their doorstep.” Many villagers expressed how they had lost hope that anyone would ever help them since no structured roads led to the village. One of the villagers, Rajeesh, said, “Nobody wanted to come here, but Amma came to help us.”
The local children, many of whom had never seen a water tap before, were delighted by the new water system. When the villagers of Guptapada first found out what our volunteers intended to do, they were inspired to work along with our team. Urmilla, a young village woman, said that having the water tank in the village “is a great privilege” and one that will not quickly become mundane.
In Komalikudi, not only all homes, but the village’s community center and the multi-grade learning center now have access to water. Furthermore, the entire water distribution framework is powered by a micro-hydro-electric generator, as part of Amma’s commitment to using renewable resources to provide electricity to rural communities. The continuous supply of power from the generator ensures that villagers have access to clean water throughout the day for their daily needs.
Seeing the work done by the Amrita team and villagers, Thathi, Komalikudi’s innocent yet wise matriarch, repeatedly said the availability of clean water inside the village was “a great blessing.” The village children - who would squeal with joy every time they opened a tap, marveling at the flow of cool, clean water - echoed the same sentiment.
There was an immense amount of community participation and the villagers enthusiastically donated their time, land, and work hours to the project. Because of this dedication, the strenuous and repetitive commutes to water sources have been eliminated. Additionally, inhabitants from all three villages can now conveniently use the newly built toilets in their houses, constructed by our own Amrita University’s Sustainable Rural Sanitation Model and Training Program. Young girls and women will be safer without having to make the trek to isolated fields to relieve themselves. And with easy access to water, the overall hygiene of the villages will increase and the spread of infectious illnesses will be reduced.