My dream is to provide my family with clean water so that they can lead a healthy life. A life where my children can go to school every day, and I can earn a decent livelihood instead of worrying about how to access clean water.
The village Chatgan is located on the banks of the river Ken. In this small village, Gayaram is a fisherman whose livelihood depends on water. Gayaram and his brother own a small boat which they use to catch fish in the river. The confluence of the rivers Ken and Yamuna is only a few kilometres from here. Still the village thirsts for water.
Approach to the river is through a hazardous and steep slope that descends from the village. Long back, there was a staircase leading to the river. But it was washed away in a flood. The village gets flooded every year when the river breaks its bank during the rainy season. He has seen the river overflow with water, but it is of no use to us as it is very dirty. On a daily basis, he sees refuge being released into the river, animal carcasses and remains of cremated human dead bodies disposed of in it.
It is for this poor quality water, his wife, Sudama, has to spend many hours every day walking to and fro between their house and the river. The walk is about a kilometre and every day Sudama makes several trips to the riverbank for water because the only other option, a tap connection situated on the outskirts of the village is not reliable.
The pipeline that connects this tap to the water tank situated two kilometres from the village, suffers frequent breakdowns. Leaks open up at different places along the route taken by the pipeline. As a result, there is no supply of water through the tap for days and weeks at a stretch. The river from the water is the only choice
Our children are still very young. If my wife isn’t well or has some household chore preoccupying her, I have to suspend going to the Banda Bazar (local market) with my catch. Children cannot be left to starve. Arranging the day’s supply of water takes precedence over everything, even opportunities to earn a livelihood.
He wants to create a better life for his family, but that depends on having access to clean water. You can provide them with that.