- Establishes community Water Plant in Rafi Nagar to provide safe drinking water
- Creates a viable, economically self-sustainable model with an underlying objective of creating entrepreneurial opportunities for women
- Water Shops will reach out to 6,500 households with a population of 31,000
In a bid to provide safe drinking water, Rotary Club of Bombay, Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment and Apnalaya came together today to inaugurate a Water Shop as part of the Aquaguard JalJeevan Project, at Rafi Nagar, in Govandi. This sustainable social model not only aims to address the growing health issues faced by people in these communities, but also provides a comprehensive platform to generate livelihood for women in the locality.
Rafi Nagar is located adjacent to Shivaji Nagar, one of world’s largest waste dumping sites, with a long-standing history of poor performance on diverse developmental parameters. The community lacks basic amenities in terms of proper drainage, pipelines to distribute potable water, public health facilities, access to decent housing and sanitary living conditions. These areas have also been witnessing an increase in number of cases where children have often lost weight rapidly during their growing years, owing to general lack of sanitation combined with contaminated water leading to chronic waterborne ailments.
In addition to the grave problems related to water contamination and sanitation, communities in Govandi have a long-standing history of poor performance on diverse development indicators, which include extremely low literacy levels among women. According to reports, nearly 30 per cent women in the community are illiterate, which is twice the city’s average. Nearly 49 per cent households have to borrow money, mainly for health and consumption loans, the repayment of which stresses the already low income that people have. Through this Community Managed Sustainable Social Business Model, Aquaguard JalJeevan Project aims to not only provide safe drinking water to every individual in the community, but also provide opportunities to the most marginalized section of women, to generate income for their household.
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The most innovative aspect of this plant is that it will be run and managed by a self-help group of 4-5 women who will earn a monthly income through this project. These groups will also own and supervise the operations of the water filtration units. They will generate revenue by selling the potable water to the community at Rs 0.50 per litre.
Inaugurating the plant, Rtn. Shailesh Haribhakti, President, Rotary Club of Bombay, said, “We strongly believe that this economically, sustainable social model will not only provide safe drinking water to the community, but also address the underlying objective of creating sustainable livelihoods, empowering women. I am sure the value of these water shops in these regions would be immense, and express my best wishes to the team running the project.”
Mr. A.V. Suresh, President – International Operations & CEO – Forbes Professional, Eureka Forbes Limited said, “We, at Eureka Forbes have always envisaged a country where every Indian has access to safe drinking water. By linking the supply of clean drinking water to these communities with the set-up of entrepreneurially driven Water Shops, project Aquaguard JalJeevan aims to ensure longevity and thereby ensure a sustainable livelihood for women in the locality. Across the country, we have installed more than 260 water purifications system plants and more than 12,000 water purifiers in partnership with many NGOs and social service organizations. In the near future also, we aim to replicate the model by installing 50 more such water shops in this sustainable social model, in urban slums across the city.”
Rama Shyam, Program Head, Apnalaya shared, “For the last 43 years, we have been striving hard to address some of the most pertinent issues in communities that are not only marginalized, but are severely challenged on various development indicators. Considering the relative success of the past projects and the need for safe drinking water in other slum clusters in Shivaji Nagar, we saw the need to set-up more such plants in the Govandi area. This concept will not only ensure supply of safe and clean drinking water to the communities, but will also encourage entrepreneurship and generate employment for women, most of whom have never had a formal or informal employment prior to their engagement in this project.”
Photo Caption: Rotary Club, Eureka Forbes and Apnalaya partner to provide safe drinking