Maharashtra: The state of Maharashtra has been facing a serious water crisis since decades. There are over 600 million people who face water shortage on a regular basis. While most people in urban cities have the luxury to take 30 min long showers, people in the rural parts of India have to walk kilometers just to fetch water to meet their daily requirements. This cumbersome chore not only causes physical strain but also keeps women from devoting their time elsewhere and contributing to the family financially. The problem lies in the accessibility of clean water.
The young minds of Goldcrest High School, Navi Mumbai, understand that access to clean water is a primary necessity for an individual to lead a healthy life. The students under the aegis The Alpha Urbane Project came forth and took it upon themselves to raise funds on Ketto.org to enable and empower rural communities to get access to water.
In the rural parts of India, people walk an average of 7 to 20 km every day to fetch water. They carry an average of 9 liters of headload multiple times a day. With the onset of summer, as drought sets in, many of the families in the village will struggle for access to clean drinking water. The crowdfunding campaign will support marginalized families with access to water through waterwheels and reduce the burden of head loading. The beneficiaries will be selected based on selection criteria to reach out to the most marginalized.
Commenting on the student's effort to empower the rural communities by getting access to water Ms. Kavita Malhotra, Principal, Goldcrest High School Mumbai, said, "We are proud of our students who are growing up as concerned individuals and most importantly as responsible citizens. Our students intend to alleviate the strain of water collection of these families. The deployment of taps seems to be a logical solution but it will be a lengthy process. Hence we decided to partner with Habitat for Humanity as they have introduced water wheels, which is a simple water carrying device. With the help of a water wheel even young children can push around 45 liters of water with ease and in a short duration of time."
Habitat for Humanity India has addressed this dire need of families by providing a waterwheel. This activity has not only brought relief to the women's lives but also has achieved a paradigm shift in the villager's mindset in fetching water. It is observed that in rural villages the fetching of water is the primary responsibility of women folks, they start fetching water early in the morning along with their other routine day-to-day work. But now there is a change as men and young boys are willing to carry water with the help of a water wheel from long distances.
The students of Goldcrest High School have proved that through persistence and determination, anything can be achieved. Ria Deshpande (Deputy Sports Captain Grade 11), Rishika Chattopadhyay (Deputy Head Girl Grade 11) and Rushikesh Sude (Head boy Grade 12) started a crowdfunding campaign on Ketto.org and raised INR 5.84 lakh from over 451 donors. The amount raised from the public will be used by the renowned NGO Habitat for Humanity to ensure the transparent distribution of water wheels in rural areas.
Commenting on the initiative, Ria Deshpande (Deputy Sports Captain Grade 11), Rishika Chattopadhyay (Deputy Head Girl Grade 11) and Rushikesh Sude (Head boy Grade 12) Goldcrest High School said, "We can't begin to comprehend the challenges these people undergoes on a daily basis. As concerned individuals it is our moral responsibility to help such families who need our assistance. That is when TAUP reached out to us and introduced us to crowdfunding. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to create an impact of this magnitude, as students."
The funds collected on Ketto.org will enable Habitat for Humanity to distribute water wheels in selected villages of Karjat Block in Raigad District, Maharashtra, Nandgaon, Khandeswar block of Amravati district in Maharashtra. Bharatpur district in Rajasthan. Sindhoni, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, supporting over 900 families.
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