Breathing Easier in India

In Tamil Nadu, community residents are often dependent on remote and unsafe connections for drinking water. Even when a public water tap is nearby, long lines can take up precious time that could be better spent on income generating opportunities.

To address this issue, Water.org and its local partners are empowering the poor through microloans, and enabling loan recipients to become customers of water and sanitation services with intrinsic rights. A majority (approximately 98 percent) of WaterCredit loan borrowers are women, most of whom bear the brunt of inadequate access to water and sanitation services.

Mrs. Thangaponnu, who lives in the East Vellanoor village, was accustomed to standing in long lines at a public water point. A chronic asthma condition prevented her from continuing to do this on a daily basis, so she asked her children to miss morning classes in school and collect water for the family. Sometimes the children would return from the water point with empty buckets, as the water utilities would occasionally shutoff the taps early.

Fortunately, Mrs. Rakkini, a loan and credit officer of Guardian (a Water.org partner), met with Mrs. Thangaponnu and her Joint Liability Group (JLG). With the support of her fellow JLG members, she completed a loan application form and received a micro loan for a household water connection. As a result of the water connection, her children no longer have to miss school to stand in long lines and the family has more time for beneficial activities.


This success story was submitted by Water.org’s partner organization, Guardian, and was made possible by a generous grant from the PepsiCo Foundation.


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Capital city: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
97 million lack safe water
814 million have no sanitation services
Infant mortality rate of 5%
30% live in poverty

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