India: Dr. Water Changes Lives in Andhra Pradesh

September 24, 2010|Feature Stories


Shyamala, a health educator in West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India, had tried for months to convince families in the region to pay a small fee for clean drinking water. “I work with women’s self help groups in 10 villages. Nothing worked anywhere– flip charts, posters, skits, and role plays. Women were not convinced about the need to use or pay for clean drinking water.”

Faced with an impasse, Shyamala then hit upon a novel idea. “We connected a microscope to a projector and asked women in the village of Jagannadhapuram to apply untreated pond water samples to the glass slides. They were shocked by the microorganisms that they could see on the screen. Some women actually wept on seeing the germs that their families were routinely being subjected to.”

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