Editor’s Note: This post is a part of #InDeepShit, by WaterAid India and Youth Ki Awaaz to understand the reality behind the inhumane practise of manual scavenging in India. You can speak up against this form of discrimination and share your views by publishing a story here.
The words ‘water crisis’ is something Indians are no doubt familiar with and why not, when India has the highest number of people in the world without access to clean water. And the people who are hurt the worst of by this crisis are Indian women who not only have to run their households with the limited amount of water but also have to travel long distances to get the water in the first place.
For example, in 2012 rural women had to walk anywhere between 200 metres to 5 kilometres to access something as basic as water. Just to note, the World Health Organization considers any drinking water that lies more than 30 minutes away as ‘inaccessible’. Chew on that for a moment.
There have been various initiatives started over the years by organisations such as WaterAid, the World Health Organisation and others, who have been working with grassroots communities (who are among the 77 million who lack clean water) to improve access to water and sanitation in India. Along with this, there have also been governmental initiatives such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the National Rural Drinking Water Program. Nevertheless, with increasing droughts in states such as Maharashtra and Kashmir and the fact that women have had to travel increasingly large distances to have access water, it is clear that much still remains to be done.