A Better Life

Meet Sumathi. Sumathi and her husband live in a small village in Tamil Nadu with their two young sons. Sumathi’s eldest son, Prabakaran, is eight years old and has a disability that has affected him since he was two years old.

Among many issues related to his medical condition, Prabakaran has never been able to walk, or even stand, which prevents him from getting himself to an open lot (previously their only option) to defecate. Sumathi often found she was sad and fearing for Prabakaran’s future, questioning who would care for him. She hoped for a solution to help the family’s sanitation needs.

Understanding a toilet could help their situation, Sumathi and her husband agreed to take out a microloan providing the funds to construct one in their home. After slowly learning how to use the toilet, Prabakaran can now relieve himself in a safe, sanitary way. Sumathi and her husband are happy to have a toilet in their home thanks to Water.org and Water.org’s partner, Gramalaya.


This success story was made possible by a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation.

Capital city: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
103.8 million lack safe water
802 million have no sanitation services
Infant mortality rate of 4.3%
29.8% live in poverty

Water.org provides innovative, market-based solutions that change lives every day through safe water and sanitation.

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