Ratnamma and her 18-year-old daughter Sindhu live together in the village of Aralumallige. Taking work where she can find it as a day laborer, Ratnamma has worked construction and in the fields to feed her family. Now that Sindhu is older, she also works in a nearby garment factory. Together they earn around 6,000 Rupees (US$97) per month.
Without a toilet in their home, every day Ratnamma and Sindhu had to walk outside to find a place to relieve themselves. Ratnamma found this humiliating and worried for her daughter’s safety. Collecting water was also a challenge for them. Each month they lost four days of work because instead of working to earn money, they spent the time gathering water.
In 2013, Water.org’s local partner Mythri hosted an awareness meeting in their community where Ratnamma learned she could take out a loan to pay for a water connection and toilet construction. Excited by this possibility and how much it would improve their lives, Ratnamma applied for and received a 10,000 Rupee (US$161) loan. A month later the construction was complete. At last Ratnamma and her daughter had a safe water source and their own toilet.
“We are thankful, now we can go to work easily and do not have to take time off from working for collecting water,” she said. “On the day of water supply, my sister will come and store the water. The fear of defecating in the open is no more.”