Though shrinking in availability on a global basis, fresh water is still used every day for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing. In the agricultural sector, it is also needed for watering crops and caring for livestock.
In villages across India, these requirements are usually met by women and girls who fetch water on a daily basis from the nearest sources. These vary from open wells, nearby streams, communal taps or public handpumps.
For many of these rural households, water is several hundred meters away, so the women and girls are used to the heavy work of carrying large vessels – usually upon their heads – along well-tread paths. The task can take several hours, leaving them little or no time for other needs such as education, earning additional income, being with their families or even getting sleep.
Recognizing the hardship they undergo, Amma has made it a priority to ensure accessible, clean and dependable water sources in the villages. To date, these efforts have directly benefited more than 600 households in seven villages and the work continues.
In October 2017, Amma also launched the Jivamritam clean drinking-water initiative in the presence of India’s President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind. The goal is to provide water filtration in 5,000 villages throughout India.