(G.N.S) Dt. 02
It took a whole year’s hard work – convincing officials to grant a plot, raising money through online and offline campaigns, and getting the actual work done for the water filtration plant.
The residents of Hegganahalli in Devanahalli taluk of North Bengaluru can hope to be healthier in 2018. Thanks to the efforts of three schoolchildren, they finally have access to clean drinking water. It took Sukruth Krishna Kumar (Class 12), Suprith Krishna Kumar (Class 9) from The International School Bangalore (TISB), and Tarun Kumar Reddy (Class 12) from Canadian International School, one year to do it, but they raised Rs 8 lakh and installed a filtration unit which provides clean drinking water for about 150 families (about 500 individuals) here. “When we went to the village with my family, we saw that the water was not clean. The residents told us that they had health issues regularly and their children were missing school often because of it,” said Sukruth.
And, so, the three decided to do something about it.
“We wanted to give them a water filtration unit. They had borewells from which the water was used for all purposes. When we checked the water, we found that it had high fluoride and salt content,” he added.
The students estimated the cost of setting up a reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration plant that will provide 2000 liters. Sukruth said: “We estimated that setting up the unit will cost about Rs 8 lakh. We then approached the local government, and they agreed to give us the land to do so. For construction and other works, we asked suppliers to give us the facility without taking any profit and they agreed.”
For these three students, the objective was to combat health issues. “We mainly wanted to address the health issues of villagers and also to encourage other school students to take up social initiatives,” he said.
Now that the students had their plan, place and estimate ready, the next biggest task was to raise the money. “We wrote several letters to well-known foundations and told them about our project. A few worked out, others didn’t. Later, we thought creating a charitable trust would be a better idea. Because we are minors, we registered the trust with our parents’ help. But we ourselves managed all other work, from accounts to the project work,” said Sukruth.
The students started fundraising through their charitable trust and then approached various philanthropists in the city. They even reached out to friends and acquaintances who might be willing to help. The last bit of the money was raised through online crowdfunding. On December 28, the new RO system was inaugurated in Hegganahalli. The plant has now been handed over to the local zilla panchayat which will take care of its maintenance. “We did it the way the government would. A 5-rupee coin gets you a can of clean drinking water,” said Sukruth. The money collected goes to the zilla panchayat for the unit’s upkeep.
There are many such villages around Hegganahalli that struggles for clean drinking water. The students hope that their own efforts will inspire other like them to take up such initiatives. When the plant opened, the villagers had organised a small ceremony to thank the three students for their efforts.
(G.N.S) Dt. 02