Support isn’t linear—you give, but also get much in return

Story type
Case story
Kavita
Image: WaterAid India/Pause Photography

There comes a stage in our lives when we become the nucleus of the family— supporting our children as well as our ageing parents. Kavita, 34, from Haryana’s Sonipat district, is at that stage. For years she has worked as a daily wage earner and taken care of her ailing mother as well as her two school-going daughters. Then, an opportunity through WaterAid India and AB InBev to work as a Jal Sakhi changed her life. Today, not only is Kavita able to support herself and her family better and live a life of dignity but is also helping improve the health condition of her entire village.

Kurad, the village where Kavita lives, is 12 km from Sonipat city and although urban life has touched its different aspects, when it comes to health conditions, the condition is dismal. “People didn’t care about cleanliness earlier. The place was dirty, there would be water wastage and water stagnation which would attract mosquitoes,” Kavita said. This, she added, would lead to people, especially children, falling ill often.

Kavita

Amid all this, Kavita continued doing her best to provide for her family. “I am educated but did not get a proper job. I want my daughters to have a different life, hence I work hard to ensure they continue their education,” she said. The support that Kavita was seeking came in the form of an intervention by WaterAid India and AB InBev through which she was offered to work as a Jal Sakhi. Chosen after key consideration and discussion with the self-help groups working in the village, Kavita was made aware of the concept of water conservation and hygiene. She was trained in water quality testing and how to conduct a survey to identify needy families who are bereft of a water connection. Through a Jal Sakhi, it is expected, that an entire community can be made aware of the importance of water conservation and hygiene, and therefore their health can be improved.

The Jal Sakhi is also remunerated for her work.

“Getting associated with the organisation (WaterAid) has been a blessing for me,” Kavita said, “I have the economic assistance to be able to provide more for my daughters and look after my mother. I have dignity in my work—people support me, and listen to me. I am happy.”

Kavita’s daughters have now been selected in the local hockey team and the mother couldn’t be more jubilant. “Things are looking up,” she said happily, “I want to do all I can to support my daughters so that they can have a bright future.”