$79 and 45 days later

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In the villages in India, women of all age groups fetch water for their household consumption. Despite her growing age of 53, Siddamma continued to fetch water in Karnataka, India.

She had been fetching water from the public hand pump, located 100 meters from her house. She was lucky to have the access to public water point within the meter radius. There are many women in Siddamma's village who still have to fill 20-30 pots of water daily by walking for 1 k.m.

Siddamma says, "There are 78 public hand pumps in my village for nearly 350 families. The one which was near my house was spoiled some months back. But no one came to repair it. I had to then go much farther for bringing water to the house. I used to feel tired!" Her village also has an open well. But it was always crowded with people. Women had to stand in a queue for several hours to fill two pots of water. Siddamma adds, "Sometimes, there used to be quarrel between women over water. We used to bath once in a week as water was not sufficient. How long could one stand for two pots of water daily?"

Siddamma now has her own household water connection. She took out a WaterCredit loan of Rs. 5000 (USD$79) from a local Water.org partner to support the cost of installing the water point. She is a member of a Self- Help Group for women. During a regular group's meeting, she learned about the water and sanitation program implemented by Sanghamithra in her village. She filed an application and within 30 days she got her loan sanctioned. In another 15 days, she had her very own water connection ready.

Today, Siddamma gets water twice daily for more than an hour. "The water from the hand pump contained iron and used to smell bad. But the quality of my tap water is much better-- it's soft and so good to drink," says Siddamma.

Capital: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
77 million lack access to safe water
769 million lack access to improved sanitation
59% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day