Water plays a substantial role in human’s life. Without it, life would not have been possible. Some people are so lucky that they got abundant supply of water in their places. They have access to water for their household purposes and hence they have nothing to worry about it. But, that’s not the case when it comes to places facing extreme water scarcity.
Carrying water has never been easier for the elderly people who walk a long distance carrying water tubs in hope of getting water. The responsible persons in the family cover miles on foot thrice or even more than in order to meet the water requirement for the family.
NGO Habitat for Humanity for India understands that a predominant step has to be taken to do a good deed for the people who do not have access to water for a basic purpose. Thus they travel long distances to fetch water. In an attempt to support many people, they have come up with an initiative of introducing the water wheel.
What is the Water Wheel?
Water Wheel is a cost-effective tool that helps people bring water, who do not have access to water for their household purposes. It is a cylindrical plastic container which has a capacity to hold 45 liters of water. Having known that carrying water is not that easier to carry in those places, the simple and effective tool was invented.
It is designed solely for the purpose of reducing physical strain on the people as they can push it with relative ease with the help of handles attached to the cylinder. So, people have got nothing to put water pots on their heads, shoulders or waist while carrying the water.
“The water wheel is a simple, effective tool designed for people who lack reliable access to water for their household purposes. With the support from Wello Water, a social venture, Habitat for Humanity India introduced the water wheel project in 2015. The first project was at Paithan Block, in the district of Aurangabad, Maharashtra, where 500 water wheels were handed over to the natives,” Rajan Samuel told The International Business Times.
What was the reason behind this master-class invention?
“Over the years, the drought-like situation in the country has led to water scarcity in many villages in India. Maharashtra has been one of the worst affected states due to this. The situation is unfortunate there during summers when the wells dry up and there would be hardly any water for the entire village.
Also, women in these villages suffer severely as they have to travel long distances to fetch water. They would have to wake up early morning for this tedious task, which would go on for more than an hour and would have to take multiple rounds to and fro from the water source. As a result, they will suffer from a sore neck and back. It was only ideal to help families in need through the intervention of the water wheel,” Rajan added.
This intriguing concept not only received positive feedback from the people but also made others’ lifestyle better. A lot of time can be saved as well. The people can now breath a sigh of relief on the introduction of Water Wheel to their daily routine. “We have received tremendous response from women, who were given the water wheels across villages in Maharashtra. The water wheel has given them an improved and healthy lifestyle.
Through various self-help groups and discussions at the village level, they understood the impact a waterwheel could have on their daily routine. It has also empowered women, and even men in the villages are using it these days. It has become a symbol of social development. Young and old, many have benefited because of the water wheel concept in their own way,” Rajan echoed.
The concept received Positive feedback:
One of the residents said that he would have spent a lot more, if not for the water wheel. The residents will be forever grateful to NGO Habitat India for the simple invention. “If not for the water wheel, I would have spent nearly Rs 18,000 to get water from a tanker for a month.
I have managed to save that money by providing water for the construction of my new home all by myself with this water wheel. I couldn’t be more thankful to Habitat India for my new home and this water wheel,” says Sunanda Kharate, Osmanabad, Maharashtra
People who faced difficulties to carry two or three vessels on a daily basis have appreciated this simple invention as it brought about a massive change in the lives of 3,442 families. According to Rajan Samuel, water wheels have been introduced in 6 districts of Maharashtra, including the likes of Aurangabad, Osmanabad, Solapur, Latur, Nanded and Raigad.
Also, the team has put forward an idea of introducing the water wheel concept in North India and South India as well. “We have proposed initiating the water wheel intervention in North India through our Habitat India office in Delhi and in South India through our offices in Bengaluru and Chennai,” Rajan added.