Nibhash Fulmali from the isolated community
Tea garden workers are amongst the poorest, most disadvantaged and isolated communities in the country. Based majorly in Sylhet, these communities lack access to many basic rights – right to safe water and sanitation being a crucial one.
30-year-old Nibhash Fulmali lives with his family of seven in the Nahar Tea Gardens, working as a pesticide sprayer. With 45 other families living in the same community, everyone walked miles each day through uneven hilly terrains with heavy gallons and containers to collect water from a 300-feet deep stream. The families also used to defecate in the open due to the absence of a proper four-wall toilet infrastructure, and lacked basic hygiene knowledge due to their geographical and communal isolation. These practices affected the lives and health of families such as Nibhash’s, where his children regularly suffered from waterborne diseases.
With the help of LDSC, tea garden communities are now changing. Toilets and handwashing devices for families have been setup in the Nahar Tea Gardens, and a large rainwater harvesting facility has also been installed with a separate water collection point. Nibhash’s family is now healthier consuming safe drinking water over stream water, do not defecate in the open, and also are aware and regularly practice basic hygiene behaviour. Additionally, they are able to invest a significant amount of their daily time in resourceful work instead of travelling miles to collect water multiple times a day.