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Water Stories from India

This summer, ServeNow is taking on the challenge to provide 100,000 liters (over 26,400 gallons) of clean drinking water to more than 1,000 families who live below the poverty level in slums and remote villages of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa and Telangana. Thanks to the generosity of partners and the hard work of staff and volunteers, nearly 70% of the locations have already been reached! With more than 300 districts in India facing acute shortage of drinking water, this is the need of the hour. Twice a week these same people will continue to receive clean water (about 10 gallons a week per family) through the summer months in India.

In the past week, the staff at our Hyderabad office reached 8 villages in the districts of Warangal and Zaheerabad with our clean drinking water distributions. More than 350 families, who face acute shortage of water, are benefiting from this project. These are villages where water has dried up and people have been living without clean water for weeks now. There are also places where an entire village of 50-60 families depend on a single tube well for their water needs, and the water from these wells isn’t even fit for drinking. In some places, people (young and old) walk for miles just to fetch a few liters of water. People even get into fights with each other over water! ServeNow’s Water for Life project is a great relief to people in villages like these. The smiles on their faces are priceless.

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Rajeshwari is a 16-year-old girl who studies in the 10th grade. Rajeshwari and her single mother belong to the Banjara tribe. The village they live in has only one bore well on which everyone depends for their water needs. Recently, Rajeshwari was scolded by the owner of the well because she belongs to a lower class and is not supposed to draw water with the other high caste villagers. For Rajeshwari and her mother, the couple of liters of clean drinking water distributed by ServeNow was a God-send. Their joy was evident in the smiles on their faces.

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Gangamma, a 55-year-old woman from Din Dayal Nagar, one of the slums where ServeNow distributed water, said: There are 50 families here, living in huts and temporary shelters. There is only one tube well, a kilometer away, and the water from that well is not clean. The water is polluted and gives off a smell. Since we do not have a choice, we are forced to use that water for cooking and drinking, therefore we are often sick. Nobody has ever come to help us before today. I am very thankful to ServeNow for visiting us with clean drinking water. It really means a lot to us. Thank you very much. Like Gangamma, there were many other elderly people, children and pregnant women who were glad to receive clean water, free of cost.

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Syamala is a middle aged woman from the village of Gundla Gudem. After receiving clean drinking water, she said: After a full day of hard work, I still had to walk quite a distance to fetch water for my family. The water I fetch is not clean, and it really is not suitable for drinking. But I have to make do with it because there is no other water available. There are frequent water related health issues in my family. I am very thankful that you visited our village and provided clean drinking water for our families. It will be a great relief during this hot summer.

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Kamalamma, a 60-year-old woman from Shameerpet, was very glad that someone had come to provide clean water for her and her husband. Here’s what she said: My husband and I live in Shameerpet. We have two sons who are married and live in the same village, but they do not support us. We live on a small allowance that the government gives us every month. Since about a month ago, our whole village faces a water crisis, but for me the crisis is even more difficult; getting water to my home has been a great challenge because the whole village depends on one water well that provides water twice a week. If I am a little late, I do not get water. Sometimes other villagers fight with me and do not let me take water. I am too weak to argue, and my sons do not help me. But it was a great relief when I heard that ServeNow would provide me with free and clean drinking water. It was even brought to my doorstep! I shall be forever thankful to ServeNow.

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Yapalabodu Thanda is a village situated in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh. As the ServeNow team visited the village with a tanker full of clean drinking water for the villagers, we could see eager villagers waiting with their vessels. The villagers had been facing a serious water crisis for the past couple of weeks. Even the water purifying plant situated nearby was unable to provide enough water for the villagers. The villagers were glad to know that they would be receiving clean drinking water during one of the worst summer months, and they said that it was a great relief for them and their families.

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We are so grateful to those who have responded so generously to meet this need. We are happy to report that not only did we meet our budgeted goal for this project this summer; but we have more than doubled it! If you would like to give to the other many needs in India please give here: Where the Need is Greatest.

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