Bringing water to Indian untouchables

[All photos: ©ziyuusan, Bodhgaya, December 2015]

I know it's been a while since I last dropped a line but ziyuusan is back, and is back for a good cause.
I have just returned from India and am now helping my colleague Patrick raise funds to provide a dalit village (i.e. a community of untouchables) with access to desperately needed water. 
We both visited the village in the past month and with the help of a trusted local social activist are now trying to get them a water pump.
If this Christmas you want to make a difference and not just "buy stuff", help us make  these villagers' life more human!

Bapunagar village is located a few kilometers away from Bodhagaya, India's holy Buddhist city where the Buddha reached enlightement more than 2,500 years ago.

Bodghaya is in Bihar, one of India's poorest States where as many as 40% of the local population leave below the poverty line.

The entire village is inhabited by "dalits", i.e. a group of "untouachables". Despite being officially outlawed, the caste system is in fact still very much part of the local culture and continues to adversely impact on the life of millions in the country.

The area is extremely dry: it rains for less than 2 months/year and gets extremely hot during the summer.

Given the dry climate and barren soil, vegetables are hard to grow and can easily reach unaccessible prices for locals.

Employment opportunities in the area are very limited. Villagers work irregularly as daily labourers either in the fields or on construction sites for a daily wage of INR 200 (EUR 2,7).

The environment around the village is also polluted and dirty.

Children, pets and cattle live together surrounded by garbage and dirt.

In this environment, water is simply a luxury.

The village has a water pump installed by the local authorities. However, as it is unfortunately often the case, it was not built and maintained properly: after only 3 years, it's already unusable and no public service is available to repair it.

As the public water pump is of no use, women have to walk a long distance to get access to alternative water sources.

The little water currently available is frugally used for drinking, personal hygiene and washing. 

A local woman washes her dress in a water pump donated by a foreigner in a nearby neighborhood.

Witnessing the dire poverty, Patrick set up a fundraising campaign to provide villagers with a water pump and hence access to much needed water.  

With the funds raised so far, by the time I visited the village at the beginning of December we have been able to start installing this first water pump.

We now need to pave the floor to avoid mud and dirt, and thus minimise already crticial sanitation and higyiene conditions.

How can YOU help?

You can donate funds here. Share the news through your networks and help us make these people's life more human and dignified. 

Thank you in advance for your support!

[All photos: © Silvia Sartori, Bodhgaya, December 2015]