INDIA: Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” provides funding for new water filtration system at Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra
Facility improvements and a new water filtration system will help improve health and hygiene as well as curb the outbreak of disease.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 18, 2019) A Salesian shelter, Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, located in Harewadi village in the Maharashtra District of India, has been able to complete facility improvements and install a new water filtration system thanks to donor funding for a Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.”
The funding enabled Salesian missionaries to tile interior floors, paint interior walls and put in a water filtration system, ensuring clean water access. Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra is home to 350 village children. The scarcity of water in this drought-prone region forces parents to leave their children at the shelter while they migrate in search of reliable work and water sources. Funding was needed to help renovate the facilities and to install a water filtration system to minimize contamination and provide quality drinking water.
“Water is essential for life, and it’s critical that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Improving water and sanitation facilities brings a sense of dignity to children and ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water. This reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”
With more than 1.3 billion people, India’s growing population is putting a severe strain on the country’s natural resources. According to Water.org, close to 77 million people do not have access to safe, clean water and 769 million have no sanitation services. Most water sources throughout the country are contaminated by sewage and agricultural runoff.
While India has made some progress in the supply of safe water, there remain gross disparities in safe water access across the country. The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water with diarrhea alone causing more than 1,600 deaths daily. Access to proper sanitation is extremely poor, particularly in rural areas where only 14 percent of the population has access to a latrine.
In response to this crisis, Salesian Missions has developed a “Clean Water Initiative” that has made building wells and supplying fresh, clean water a top priority for every community in every country in which Salesian missionaries work.
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
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