Lakshimi’s house had no water connection. Her husband used to go 3 km away on his bicycle to fetch water for the house. Sometimes Lakshimi would go to the nearby colony to collect 2-3 pots of water. “When we went to get water we often missed our work. We have to be at work by 9am daily. During rainy days, we had to walk, as we could not ride the cycle in the slum. The road is not so good. My husband has fallen several times, “says Lakshimi. “Sometimes when I carried water home on my head, I worried about falling down.”
One day while she was standing in the cue to fill the water from the public water point, she heard her neighbor talking about the Water and Sanitation program of Water.org's partner, SIDUR. Lakshmi was curious. She wanted to learn more. Her curiosity brought her to the orientation meeting, where she learned about the process of taking out a loan. She filled out the application to get a water connection.
After receiving the application, a member of SIDUR’s staff, Bhawani, visited Lakshimi's house. “I reviewed all of the important criteria, including whether Lakshimi’s house could be connected to the main water line. I checked all the documents and asked Lakshimi to attend a training,” says Bhawani. In the training, she interacted with Lakshimi and other loan applicants. She explained the loan, its use, the process of getting loan and water connection, and the responsibility of the Joint Liability Group (JLG). The JLG allows individual borrowers to share the risks associated with taking on debt.
After 20 days, Lakshimi got the loan amount of Rs.10,000 ($163 US). She used it to secure a water connection for her house. Her water point was installed within a month. Today, Lakshimi gets water once a week for 40 minutes. The water is usually sufficient for drinking and household use. “Earlier, we used to get water five times in a week. But now the reservoir is dry and there is water scarcity,” says Lakshimi.
This success story was submitted by Water.org’s partner organization, SIDUR, and was made possible by a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation.