A Loan Leads to More

Mrs. Lalitha Patil lives in Gojaga Village. She took a loan for Rs.10,000/- from Water.org's partner, Grameen Koota (GK), and constructed a toilet in her home. Afterwards, she became highly motivated and decided to work with her village to become completely clean and hygienic.

With the coordination other GK members, she initiated a movement towards making her village 100 percent sanitary and hygienic. Villagers joined their hands in this movement and contributed to become a completely clean village. As a result of her hard work, the village was awarded the Nirmal Gram Puraskar Award.

A "Nirmal Gram" is an "Open Defecation Free" village where all houses, schools and Anganwadis (courtyard shelters) have sanitary toilets and the community has full awareness about the importance of maintaining personal and community hygiene and clean environments.

Pictured: Mrs. Lalitha Patil receiving the award from the President of India, Mrs. Prathiba Patil with Union Minister, Mr. Vilas Rao Deshmukh

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