After about 40 years in providing sanitation Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh International Social Service Organization (SISSO) had turned his attention towards cleanliness that of water and in rural areas where it’s most apt.
He recently came down to east to inaugurate a Low-cost Rural Water Supply Project in Haridaspur, Bangaon. The water supply is based on Dug-well water after adequate purification. As of now villagers of four wards Gobordanga Municipality plus 6 Mouzas’ of one Sutia Block, all totalling 1000 plus will get the water fully treated and safe as per WHO standard at their doorstep in 20 litres jars at a cost of 50 paise per liter. SISSO has trained the local operators who are running the plant and the technology package offered by SISSO is totally indigenous and user-friendly.
On that very day, Dr. Pathak also visited the water treatment plant in Madhusudhankati Krishik Kalyan Samity, North 24 Parganas, which is based on treatment of Pond water to signal the expansion for the project which was undertaken about two years back. The project has been a huge success and the logistics here are the same as above.
The purified water has made a dramatic impact in the people suffering from Arsenicosis, due to arsenic contamination of ground water in that area.
Narrating an incident he said on this June17, when 90% of a hamlet was suffering from acute diarrhea, only those two families who used Sulabh’s water were safe and subsequently when this water was made available to the rest, it took only 4-5 days to restore the health of that hamlet.
Though this water is being distributed free of cost to the arsenic patients and Anganwadi centres and primary schools, households may buy it for Rs13-14 per 20 L barrel via home-delivery and a Re 1 less if they collect it themselves.
Dr. Pathak’s initiative in empowerment of rural population and development of grass root level technology of water treatment, if scaled up, would have tremendous impact on rural water supply scenario in the country. Along with provision of safe water, the project would also generate rural employment.