India Living Water – the lifesaver during the pandemic!




“My little girl enjoys accompanying me to the well because it takes little effort for us to collect water. Mariamma continued, “this well became a life-saver for us during the ‘corona’. Elderly people like me remained safe during these fearful times as we did not have to go to distant places to collect water. Social distancing would not have been possible if we had to wait in long queues in front of the Panchayat tap. My community did not struggle for water once during the lockdown, as the well is near our homes”


Mariamma believed that water struggles were a curse on her, and she had no

reason to think otherwise. She had lived all her life bearing the burden of water

shortage until Living Water changed her life forever!


Mariamma lived in Perumalpuram, a small community in Southern India. The

majority of the people in her community are farmers and agricultural laborers

who work for daily wages and cultivate crops like paddy, cotton, jasmine flowers

etc. They also depend on domesticated animals and dairy products for income.


The Perumalpuram residents have been facing an acute water crisis for many

decades but had no solution to overcome it. They wandered to other

communities for a pot of clean water. An unprotected hand-dug well they relied

on was in the agricultural fields and contaminated with pesticides, which was

why many illnesses plagued them. The public standpipe from the Panchayat

supplied water only once in four days and remained dry most of the time.

Besides their personal water needs, they also had to tend to the cattle, which

was one of their primary sources of income. The people cycled or sometimes

walked kilometers to fetch water, and even the small children had to bear the

brunt of collecting water from distant places. As a mother, she was concerned for

her children and grandchildren and did not want them to go through the same

struggles.





Living Water changed it all for Mariamma and her community when a new well

was gifted for them in May 2018! On a recent visit to Perumalpuram, we met

Mariamma with her granddaughter collecting water from the LWI water point.


She was excited to see us and shared, “my little girl enjoys accompanying me to

the well because it takes very little effort for us to collect water. She continued,

“this well became a life-saver for us during the ‘corona’. Elderly people like me

remained safe during these fearful times as we did not have to go to distant

places to collect water. Social distancing would not have been possible if we had

to wait in long queues in front of the Panchayat tap. My community did not

struggle for water even once during the lockdown, as the well is near our homes.


We understood that it is very important to keep our hands clean by washing with

soap many times to keep the germs away. We wash our face, hands and feet at

the entrance of our homes when we return from outside. The vegetables and

other food products that we buy from the market are washed thoroughly before

we use them, especially during this ‘corona’ time. All these requires a lot of

water and we had it right at our doorstep. Clean water also kept us hydrated

throughout the day and protected us from many illnesses. My children are

healthier than before, and my home has become happier. I am not cursed

anymore; I live a comfortable and safe life with my children and grandchildren!”

said Mariamma confidently.

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