Surendar Singh is a resident of village Ratanpura, block Motipur, Muzaffarpur, Bihar. In this village even though drinking water is available all year round through hand pump (water table 60–110 feet), many families suffer with stomach-related problems due to the drinking water not being healthy. Surendar’s son always had had stomach problems, for which several doctors were consulted and remedies tried, but all to no avail. The hand-pump water was yellowish in color, which the PTC’s project (implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation) Gram Uttan’s team ascribed to being due to having above-acceptable limits of iron content in the water. In addition, biological contamination was found in the drinking water in many places. To address this issue, the project promoted the effective, low-maintenance, and affordable biosand water filter (JalKalp), which Surender purchased in 2018 at the subsidized cost of INR 1,000. JalKalp protects from biological contaminants, iron, arsenic, and manganese toxicity as well as removing turbidity. Surendar says that ever since his family began using the filter, his son’s chronic stomach problem has disappeared. Now he encourages his fellow villagers to also use JalKalp.
Authors: Ashutosh Singh and Ellora Mubashir
(Ashutosh is Assistant Program Lead, Agriculture in Bihar and Ellora is Manager, Partnerships at S M Sehgal Foundation)