South Asia Newsletter - June 2018
ASA-IBL Launches Water Purifier Loan Products in Tamil Nadu, India
On 4th May 2018, ASA-IBL formally launched the water purifier loan product in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. Nearly 110 participants, including club children, female members, ASA-IBL staff, and local stakeholders were present for the launch. The water purifier product was launched after a recent study and analysis conducted by ASA found that water quality was a key issue facing the target community, although most of the village residents were not aware of the issue.
Through their partnership, Action for Social Advancement (ASA) has provided demand-generating, awareness activities, while IDFC Bharath Limited (IBL) disbursed the water loans to clients. In collaboration with Health Aqua Tech Pvt Ltd, ASA-IBL introduced the water purifiers to female borrowers. Water.org’s Mr. Manoj Gulati and Mr. Nayakam presented the first five loans, helping ensure affordable pricing and timely services to help families save money, reduce health-related expenses, and increase time towards income generation. The products range in price from INR 8,000 to 30,000/-.
To raise awareness of the water quality issues, the ASA team and Water.org’s Mr. Avudai Nayakam led live water testing demonstrations and exhibitions in the villages with a high instances of water contamination. Teams tested water with a 12-parameter standard, set by the Bureau of Indian Standard, from various water sources, including ground water, household water, and tank water. In addition to the water quality tests, the ASA team and Water.org’s Mr. Nayakam led nearly 90 participants through a water-health game “Walk for Water” to promote awareness of water quality and safety issues and the various purification methods that can help.
After piloting the water purifier loans in the Nellai region, ASA-IBL plans to expand to six other regions in the future, with a goal to disburse over 12,000 water purifier loans in the next year across Tamil Nadu.
For more information on ASA, please visit http://www.asaindia.org/
For more information on IBL, please visit http://www.idfcbharat.com/
Photos: (Top) Water.org’s Manoj Gulati presents a water filter to a borrower. (Bottom) Water.org’s Avudai Nayakam addresses the audience.
A Latrine Blocked Ritoo’s Path to Marriage
Rina and Razzak’s daughter oldest daughter Ritoo was overjoyed when she received a marriage proposal from a local man. They had set the wedding date and had begun the wedding preparations when suddenly her fiancé broke off the engagement. His reason? Ritoo’s family did not have a hygienic latrine in their home.
Ritoo was heartbroken and ashamed, not leaving her home because their neighbors had heard the news and began sneering at her and her family. With such a reputation, the family worried it would be difficult to find another suitor for Ritoo. When Ritoo’s grandmother heard what happened, she knew the family needed to take action to correct the issue. She advised Rina and Razzak to meet with the WAVE Foundation, which provides microloans for water and sanitation.
Rina and Razzak met with a WAVE Foundation branch manager with the hopes of financing a sanitary latrine, but the branch manager told them that their home was outside of the WAVE Foundation’s 9 kilometer working radius. However, the branch manager promised that he would speak with his supervisors to help get Rina and Razzak the sanitation solution they need.
Thanks to the branch manager’s dedication to the family, he was able to get approval to work outside of the WAVE Foundation’s normal working radius. He approved Rina and Razzak’s loan application and they began constructing a sanitary latrine at their residence. A few days after the latrine was installed, a man from a local village came by to meet with Ritoo and her family. He proposed marriage to her and they finally got married. Ritoo is grateful that her parents sought a solution for the only roadblock in Ritoo’s path to marriage.
For more information on the WAVE Foundation, visit http://www.wavefoundationbd.org/