I believe they are really asking this – “How does good drinking water stop the killing of 1.2 million baby girls each year in India?” It is a great question, especially coming from a western worldview that water is essentially a commodity. Turn on the tap in your kitchen and most of us our set.
People can survive 3 to 8 days without water but in rural India, especially in southern India where daytime temperatures can reach over 120 degrees and access to any water is limited at best, a reliable water source is essential for all life.
So from a macro viewpoint, drilling a 500 foot bore well in a village provides TRP with;
1. Immediate creditability within the entire village.
2. Families quickly move from daily survival to a sustaining attitude.
3. Improved health standards for the entire village – including the girls.
From a young girls perspective, a well immediately removes the “domino effect” that causes her to loose hope of finding self-worth or be given any value as a person. A village well provides her with;
1. A Chance for Life. While still in her mother’s womb if her mother has adequate and good drinking water the baby girl’s chance for surviving her birth increases significantly.
2. A Chance for Health. The majority of deaths of young girls is the direct result of preventable water-born illnesses that are typically left untreated when you are a girl child. So, if a girl survives her first few years she has;
3. A Chance for Education. Since she does not need to walk 2 to 5 miles to carry water back home she can stay in school.
4. A Chance for Economic Opportunity. Every year a girl is able to stay in school past the 6th standard her income earning potential will increase by 25%, the age she will be married is delayed and the number of children she will have will decrease by nearly 30%.
5. A Chance to Change Culture. When a woman is given an opportunity to earn an income she will reinvest her earnings back into the care and education of her children giving them a greater opportunity and raising the value of both her sons and daughters.
Cultural beliefs, habits and patterns are difficult to change. Many times, any small hurdle becomes a virtual road block to change. A reliable bore well in a rural village that provides good drinking water eliminates many of the reasons “not to change.”
So when I share that an investment of $1500 to $2000 USD to drill a 500 ft. bore well in villages in southern India will provide an entire village with reliable, fresh drinking water, many friends now share “Why Not Water!”