India has the highest number of people in the world without access to safe water (75.8 million people). A lack of access to clean water causes leads to diarrhoeal diseases in children which in turn is associated with increased child mortality and poor nutritional status. In India, about 140,000 children die from diarrheal diseases each year after using dirty water. Low income households who cannot afford to install water purifiers are the worst affected.
Mumbai has a chlorinated central water supply managed by the government. However, leakages in the pipelines are well documented resulting in water contamination. The situation is further exacerbated during monsoons.
Uplift has identified contaminated drinking water as a major health risk for its members. It is conducting a series of health talks and demonstrations on how to purify water and make it safe for drinking. One such health talk was organized on July 20, 2017 in Thane.
Dr Swati Shinde, Assistant Manager of Health Service at Uplift, conducted a health talk where she introduced an FDA approved water purifying liquid and demonstrated its usage in a nearby member household.
Photo shows: Dr Swati Shinde demonstrating the use of a water purifier in a member's house
Ruby Thomas, an Uplift member shares her experience, “A highly affordable solution with one bottle costing only INR 60 (less than USD 1). For INR 60 we can have safe water for the entire month. It is better to take precautions now rather than risk our health and suffer.”
“Uplift has approached the municipal corporation for free distribution of chlorine tablets, which is the best solution for water purification in rainy season. Our members cannot afford to buy the chlorine tablets from the market (60 tablets for USD 19). However, since the municipal corporation is yet to take any decision, we have found a cheap solution available in the market,” Nandini K.S. Head of Operations at Uplift.
Uplift is also looking to provide the disinfectant at discounted rates to the members through the community clinics.
About the Project
Through ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy, Uplift aims to bring health mutual aid solutions to an additional half a million low-income people in Mumbai and Pune over the next five years. The project was launched in August 2016 and is supported by ICMIF members, The Co-operators (Canada), Länsförsäkringar (Sweden) and the Achmea Foundation (The Netherlands).