One Family at a Time’s local partner —BWDA — works directly with Self Help Groups (SHG) and their individual members to provide loans for safe water access. In the Pondicherry territory of India, BWDA works with women who are in need of microloans for household water connections.

Mrs. Dhanavathi lives in a house with four family members and earns a living as a tailor. Since the family could not take out a traditional loan for a water connection through a commercial bank, she was forced to ask her neighbor for drinking and cooking water. The neighbor asked her to come at a specific hour, but she often couldn’t make it due to her work schedule. There were many days where the family had to seek out a public tap water connection and stand in a long line. This led to valuable time being wasted, although the public water line ran directly under their house.

BWDA held meetings with Mrs. Dhanavathi’s SHG and described how the water and sanitation loans worked. She met with a loan officer, went over the details of the loan, and later decided that she could afford to make the monthly payments. The benefit of the individual water connection – including the empowerment that it provided for her family – meant that Mrs. Dhanavathi would never have to scavenge for water again.

She expresses her thanks and relief that organizations like and BWDA are looking out for her family.

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

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