Using Innovative, Low-cost Solutions to Provide Safe Drinking Water in India

Thursday, September 27, 2012

P.Venkatesh, a resident of Boduppal village in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, is a carpenter of modest means. The ever-increasing price of essentials has forced him to cut corners to save each paisa as he struggles to look after his family of four. But despite all odds and after much deliberation, three months ago he decided to make provision for yet another non-negotiable in his monthly budget — drinking water.

At around US$4 a month, water is a “luxury” that Venkatesh must necessarily indulge in. It is a ticket to his family’s continued health and safety. So, each day without fail he takes his jerry can to the WaterHealth Center located close to his house and spends 14 U.S cents to buy 20 liters of its Dr. Water brand of drinking water.

“Earlier, we used the water provided by the gram panchayat [the local self-government]. It wasn’t good for health…. It contains fluorides. I think I have taken a good decision by investing in Dr. Water,” says Venkatesh. A large number of epidemiological studies have indicated that long-term exposure to fluorides from drinking water can lead to several health-related problems, such as decaying teeth and weak bones.

Source: India Knowedge@Wharton (link opens in a new window)

Agriculture, Health Care
Base of the Pyramid, rural development