When the Living Water India team visited the Veppur community in Perambalur District, they had atale to narrate - the sad story of how the community lost two small children to the perils of lack of water only a few days prior to their visit. The children had gone to the pond to clean themselves and never returned! Living Water arrived in the community in 2015 to provide a borehole to the Ravi Nursery and Primary (RNP) School at a time when it was most needed. The RNP School was established in 1993 by the efforts of one man, Ravi Thangavel. Born into one of the poorest families, he grew up seeing his family struggle to make a living. He was determined that he would study hard as he understood the importance of education at a very early age. As a young boy, he carried this dream in his heart which later gave birth to the RNP School.
There is a vast difference in the condition of the school, that one would easily notice between Living Water’s first visit and the recent one. Amutha, the Headmistress of the school since 2006 shared that the teachers came in early to collect water and stored it in barrels for daily use. The little children demanded a lot of water for cleaning and sanitation needs, but they could not maintain proper sanitation facilities. Water-borne diseases became widespread among the children. The team saw the community and the school struggle due to the lack of water.
Today, Amutha has a different story to share – ‘the handpump that Living Water gifted to our school never stopped giving us water till this day! We have enough water for all our needs. We regularly prepare and provide lunch for the children. They do not have to carry drinking water from their homes. The teachers devote their extra time to the well-being of the children. Even though the Panchayat provided us with standpipes, it provided water only once a week, and we do not have to depend on them for water. The Covid situation demands frequent washing of hands and utmost care, and there is enough water in our premises for our children and staff. The community is also benefitting from this water source. We are happy that we can continue with the good work that Thangavel sir has started.’
Amutha did not have enough words to thank Living Water as the school enjoys a continuous supply of water. The sanitation and hygiene classes offered by the team gave them good knowledge on how to follow the Covid-19 protocol to keep themselves safe in the current situation.