While traveling in India, blogger Amy Bellgardt visited a World Vision water program and was so inspired that she became one of our World Vision Bloggers!
See how clean water is helping to empower women in India … and how these programs inspired Amy.
How many times do you turn on a water faucet each day?
Have you ever thought about it?
Think about each time you visit the restroom, wash your hands, take a bath or shower, wash food, laundry … the number will likely be quite high. That is just you, too. Factor in your family members and you’ve easily used gallons and gallons used every single day.
The ease and convenience of clean water is literally right at our fingertips.
I admit that I didn’t give this much thought as a child or even as a more educated adult. I just assumed that it was always my right to have. I mean, water is a right not a privilege, right? Obviously. I quickly learned that this was absolutely not the case when I visited India last year. Not even close.
Now when I think of water, I think of a small village, Soda Village, that I went to during my time in India. It was here that I really saw the impact that water can make, but probably not in the way you would imagine.
Last September, I took a bus ride to Soda Village in Malpura Mandal in Tonk Disrict in Rajasthan State, an area affected by low literacy, malnutrition, child marriage, frequent drought and high fluoride content in the ground water.
As you can see, I received a very warm welcome.
The Coca-Cola Company had partnered with the Soda Village Panchayat (the village head) Chhavi Rajawat (a woman) and World Vision of India in the renovating and deepening of the “Swarn Taal,” which is the village reservoir—the only water source in Soda Village’s community of over 900 households. The reservoir collects rain water, which is much safer than the local ground water that contains dangerously high levels of fluoride. Before the renovation the reservoir was shallow and could only hold a few month’s worth of water, but now the community has years of reserve.
The improvements on the reservoir had impacted the village immensely, particularly for the women, who before had the laborious task of collecting water for their families, up to ten hours a day. TEN HOURS A DAY. This daily survival chore allowed little time for studies and spending time with their families. Let me rephrase: This daily survival chore allowed for NO time for studies and spending time with their families.
We sat down with the women of the village (one of the highlights of my trip) and asked them a few questions about the improvements on the reservoir. The told us how inspired they were by Chhavi (the village head who spearheaded the initiative), and I certainly was, too, for being such a strong female leader to the community, which was unheard of in the past. You could see and feel the empowerment in their voices and faces—one woman even shared that she finally feels heard. During our conversation, some of the women slowly pulled away the veils from their faces.
“I now have time to read and study.”
“I spend more time with my children.”
“I am thinking of finding a job.”
These women were excited about this new future they thought would never come. A future of hope and growth. Adventure. Maybe a dream fulfilled. The impact on these women who were now receiving easier access of clean water was HUGE. It was beyond the nourishment of clean water. They could now quench a different thirst, and all from receiving a natural right for all humanity—clean water.
What you do today could change a child’s tomorrow! Nearly 1,600 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. Sponsor a child in a community in India that desperately needs access to safe water, and be a key part of World Vision’s work to provide a new person with clean water every 30 seconds.
As your child’s only sponsor, you can encourage them through your prayers and correspondence while helping their entire community thrive—not only with safe water, but also through basic healthcare, education, economic opportunities for their families, and a full life. The kind of life God intends.