For Water Systems That Work, Look to Women
By Nicole Javorsky
When Meena Sankaran was growing up in Mumbai, her family had access to water for one hour per day via a water tank. Her mother would boil the same water many times over for cooking and drinking. They couldn’t afford a filtration system.
“Now I know it doesn’t do anything to keep boiling the same water,” said Sankaran, “but it’s a mental satisfaction that you’re making it somewhat purer for your children.”
By the end of Sankaran’s teenage years, she had suffered numerous illnesses: jaundice, typhoid fever, pneumonia, malaria, whooping cough, chicken pox, and measles. She lived through it and ultimately started a company called KETOS, which sells technology to monitor water quality in real time.
“I felt like if I’m going to pursue technology, it’s not going to be just to keep enhancing technology,” she said, “it’s going to be about technology making an impact. And for me, water was something that very closely resonated.”
Photo courtesy of Water.org.