AMRAVATI: Under the aegis of the Amravati Water program launched in 2017, the first water scheme of The Water Initiative at Bhandri village in the Amravati District of Maharashtra was inaugurated by Rahul Kardile, IAS, Sub Divisional Magistrate Amravati, in the presence of Issam Bachaalani, Managing Director, Colgate-Palmolive(India) Limited.
Issam Bachaalani, Managing Director of Colgate Palmolive (India) Limited, said, “We are delighted to launch the Water Initiative at Bhandri village. This marks the progress of Colgate’s Water program in Amravati District, that was launched last year in partnership with Water For People- India Trust. It is a small but meaningful step to enable the availability of clean water to the people of Bhandri village. At Colgate, we believe in contributing to the communities where we live and work to create a sustainable environment and empowered lives. At Colgate we will continue to strive towards building a future that everyone can smile about.”
Bhandri village, located in Chikhaldara Taluka is a medium size village with 84 households, a Zilla Parishad Primary School and an Anganwadi Center. The village faces extreme water scarcity and challenges in accessing potable water for daily living. The only water resources in and around the village were two solar operated community stand posts and an open well located 700 meters from the village. Given the low yield post February, primarily women and girls shouldered the responsibility of fetching water for daily needs – making at least four round trips to meet their daily drinking water and domestic water needs.
Today, with funding support from Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited and convergence with government programs, Water For People India Trust has been able to provide household water supply in the village through a GSR with 20,000 litres capacity. Also, a drinking water and handwashing station is made in the school for the school children.
A Water and Sanitation Committee (WATSAN) has been formed in the school. Capacity building of school children has been undertaken on aspects related to hygienic practices like sage handling of water, handwashing etc.
Launched in 2017, the Amravati Water Program is a collaboration of Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited, and the non-profit organisation, Water For People India Trust, to provide availability and accessibility of water, awareness towards hygiene and sanitation (WASH program), and other initiatives, such as water conservation and rainwater harvesting. Reaching out to 36 villages, the initiative aims to set up 20 mini water supply schemes, water for sanitation in 36 schools 6 ashram shalas.
The Water program at Amravati District of Maharashtra with Water For People India Trust, comes after Colgate’s previously successful implementation of Water initiatives in Bihar and West Bengal.
Speaking at the inauguration Rahul Kardile, IAS, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Amravati, thanked both Colgate- Palmolive (India) and Water For People India Trust on behalf of the district Administration and said that the engagement and commitment towards this Village goes beyond providing financial support, and demonstrates convergence at administrative, financial and technical level.
Meena Narula, Managing Trustee, Water Of People India Trust, said, “Our journey in Bhandri has just begun. We will continue to engage with the Gram Panchayat and its sub-committee – Village Water and Sanitation Committee, the anganwadi and school staff as well as with households and school children, to build awareness on preserving water as a resource, maintenance of installed facilities and ensuring that the water supply scheme stays operational. Alongside building local capacities, Water For People India will hand over the scheme to the gram panchayat and the line department, so that the resource receives the required maintenance in the future.”
Also present at the inauguration ceremony were Patrick Hayes- Chief Development Officer, Water for People; Sanjay Kale- Block Development Officer, Chikaldara and several other members of the community.