"Access to safe water can improve the health of the community..."
Ravi Jain, WaterStep Volunteer
Long-time WaterStep volunteer Ravi Jain is incorporating water purification into work in his home country of India, where he works with villages in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.
ShantiSeva Trust, a nonprofit organization founded by Ravi in Louisville, Kentucky, works to empower marginalized communities of India, focusing on micro-lending and entrepreneurial initiatives for women living in rural areas. Ravi spends 4-5 months of the year in India, working with people to start small businesses as seamstresses, shopkeepers, and merchants. These small loans help people to escape poverty, so they can provide housing, food, medical care, and education for their families.
During a trip last February, Ravi identified two communities that need access to a safe water source. He laid the groundwork for the installation of mini water treatment plants in the two communities of Kisoni and Magraniya. In Magraniya, Ravi led a service camp, where he taught health education to college students. The students then went house to house throughout Magraniya, teaching about proper hand washing, waste disposal, and water storage.
In these two communities, people complain of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. A mini water treatment plant that generates chlorine can remove 99.99% of waterborne pathogens and bacteria in the water, enabling greater health for the community.
Health education, which has already started in Magraniya, increases the prospective success rate of the project. Teaching people how to properly wash their hands, alongside water purification and sanitation, can cut cases of diarrhea in a community almost in half.
The work has begun, but there’s still more to do. Ravi is leaving for India this month, and plans to install mini water treatment plants in both Kisoni and Magraniya. He will work with each community to identify the best water solutions, incorporating water purification, health education, and microbusiness. Access to safe water can improve the health of the community, allowing them to focus on other things, like family, education, and careers.