Water Helped These Kids Get Back To School | Milaap

Water Helped These Kids Get Back To School


When the sun rose over rural Tiruchirappalli, it warmed the breeze. It baked the roads. It sweltered down relentlessly on the rural folk. It did not spare the long, patient queues of mothers and their children. Children who would wake before sunrise, not to study. But to lug their many pots, with their mothers. And to walk for miles to queue up by the nearest public tap. So their families would not go thirsty.The children pushed their precious water, loaded heavy onto their bicycles. So their mothers wouldn’t collapse from the exhaustion of trekking back and forth, carrying all those pots of water on their heads. Water, barely enough to meet their needs. Without enough water, they grew thirsty. They couldn’t wash often enough. They were often ill. Because like a large part of rural India, the villages on the outskirts of Trichy has had limited access to drinking water. Water taps in homes were an unheard-of luxury. Until the day things began to change…[gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="3480,3481,3482"]


In 2007, GUARDIAN, a now award-winning group, came to these hard-working people of Tiruchirappalli. It offered them simple loans without collateral, but with ONE condition: that the people use the money to build water connections in their homes. In December 2010, Milaap partnered with GUARDIAN on a successful pilot. By July 2012, Milaap’s crowd-funding community had raised over 7 million dollars - helping over 4000 people get clean water in their homes. Today, people like you, the growing Milaap community, continue to passionately lend and champion this cause.Now when little Madhumita wakes up at sunrise, she no longer rushes to load her pots and pans for water. Her mother takes her to their yard. There, she merely turns a tap (Yes! They have one of those, now!) From their very own water connection, she fills a bucket. And she gives her little daughter a refreshing bath. Then, she makes her a hearty breakfast, and packs Madhumita off to school.IMG_8140_EditAround the same hour, 12-year-old Keerthana is busy getting her 8-year-old brother all neatly dressed. They will soon leave for school together. Keerthana’s mother, Kamalam, took a loan from Milaap and had a clean drinking water connection installed in the home. So they no longer have to skip school and fill water for their family. Where are her parents at this hour? Well, Kamalam left early to put in extra hours at work, and so did their father. “I have to put two children through college - they have a chance to study now,” she says with a hopeful smile.KeerthanaStudious 10-year-old Kokila can now spend time with her beloved books. She no longer gets in trouble at school for skipping homework or dozing off because she rose too early for the water queue. There’s plenty of time for studies, now. “And also to play,” she adds shyly.Kokila


The loans for building water connections at home were a great help to their mothers. And also to the ageing women of Tiruchirappalli - mothers who had toiled all their lives and could now have a reprieve.Cinnammal has a son who is a bus conductor, and she lives with her old husband in Thandalai. She is happy that she no longer has to walk far to get water in her old age. With the extra time and the easily available water, she has tended a flourishing kitchen garden. It brings in a little something for the old couple’s expenses. It brings her joy.Then, there’s her namesake from Cinthampatti - another Cinnammal. She had been finding it difficult to carry water as she advanced in age, and applied for a Milaap loan for water. “I can fill water at my own convenience. No more queues or trekking with pots on my head. My backache is gone,” she smiles radiantly with relief and gratitude.[gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="3486,3487"]


As more children go back to school, as more mothers get their health and smile back - there are hundreds more who approach GUARDIAN and Milaap, seeking the same basic necessity. Water at home. That’s what they need. And they look to people like YOU, their HEROES. To help them with a little loan. To spread the word.[gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="3488,3489,3490"]

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