Harewadi, June 17, 2019: A Salesian shelter has helped bring clear water to a village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.
Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra(Bosco village development center) in Harewadi has install a new water filtration system as part of the “Clean Water Initiative” of the Salesian Missions.
Funds raised by the Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, have enabled the center to tile interior floors, paint interior walls and install a water filtration system.
The center caters to some 350 village children. The scarcity of water in this drought-prone region forces parents to leave their children at the shelter while they migrate in search of reliable work and water sources.
Funds were required to help renovate facilities at the center and to install a water filtration system to minimize contamination and provide quality drinking water.
“Water is essential for life, and it’s critical that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions.
“Improving water and sanitation facilities brings a sense of dignity to children and ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water. This reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”
With more than 1.3 billion people, India’s growing population is putting a severe strain on the country’s natural resources. According to water.org, close to 77 million people do not have access to safe, clean water and 769 million have no sanitation services. Most water sources throughout the country are contaminated by sewage and agricultural runoff.
While India has made some progress in the supply of safe water, there remain gross disparities in safe water access across the country.
The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water with diarrhea alone causing more than 1,600 deaths daily. Access to proper sanitation is extremely poor, particularly in rural areas where only 14 percent of the population has access to a latrine.
In response to this crisis, Salesian Missions has developed a “Clean Water Initiative” that has made building wells and supplying fresh, clean water a top priority for every community in every country in which Salesian missionaries work.
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent people of the country live in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multi-dimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
A multi-dimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.