The Power of a Smile

Why are these women smiling? You'd be smiling too if you and your family have access to clean drinking water and a toilet in your own home for the very first time.

Imagine having to walk several hours each day just to obtain fresh water for your family. Time spent getting water every day took these women and girls away from attending school or providing an income for their family. Without access to a toilet in their home, they often waited until dark before going to the bathroom, in order to ensure their safety. Now, through a WaterCredit loan from and ODP,'s partner in the Mysore district of India, these women were able to fund toilets and gain access to fresh water for their families and were anxious to share their stories.

After graciously welcoming us to their village with song and dance, the women shared stories of how they formed a Self-Help group, which allowed them to organize and find solutions for their water and sanitation needs. The Self-Help group mobilized funding for the project by providing esteem and confidence, giving them a rightful place in their family, as well as in the community.

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