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Providing clean drinking water to over 5,000 villages in India

Launched by the President of India, Sri Ram Nath Kovind, on October 8th 2017, the Jivamritam Purified Clean Drinking Water Initiative aims to install drinking water filtration systems in 5,000 villages and provide clean drinking water to over 10 million people throughout India. The Jivamritam project utilizes a community cost-sharing model for the operation and sustainable management of the systems.

Amrita faculty and students are currently working to deploy the Jivamritam water filtration systems through the Live-in-Labs® program. The project includes applied research in the geographical distribution of water contaminants, filtration techniques and processes, awareness programs, and community empowerment strategies.

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Our Project

Around 76 million people in India lack access to clean drinking water. Although, the central and state governments have strived hard to provide piped water supply to the urban and rural communities, people still lack access to a steady water supply. Increasing population explosion is one of the major threats faced by India. This makes it harder for the authorities to handle the situation. Under such circumstances, the participation of the community becomes extremely critical/crucial. The community people need to be educated and made to understand the importance of adopting effective measures to combat the relevant issues.

With a vision to support and empower the rural communities, the Jivamritam purified drinking water project was launched by the President of India, Sri Ramnath Kovind and Amrita’s Chancellor Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi on October 2017. Through this project, we intend to deploy 5,000 Jivamritam filtration systems across several villages in India, benefitting over 10 million people.

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Some salient features of our project are:

  • We organize multiple sessions and campaigns to educate and raise awareness among the community people regarding water-borne illnesses and the importance of using the water purification system installed in their community. We talk to the leaders and authorities in the community to organize customized sessions for the different groups of people in the community like women and children.
  • We ensure the formation of a consumer committee by the community people. The consumer committee undertakes the responsibility of operating, managing and maintaining the filtration system.
  • The project has a strong focus and emphasis on making it a community-owned model. The funds accumulated through this model could be used towards the maintenance of the system. Over a longer period of time, the people will have a substantial amount of money at hand that could be used towards addressing other water related issues like scarcity (through adoption of conservation methods) faced by the community.
  • A common source of drinking water in the community will ensure reduce the risk of developing water-borne illness in the community.
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  • Currently, a majority of the people in the rural & urban areas are buying packaged drinking water commercially available in 20 litre cans paying an average price of ?50 – ?60 per can. This applies only to those who can afford this money, which means the poorer sections of the community continue to consume the water that is available to them, that is mostly not of a good quality. It is also understandable that it is the same people who might be exposed to poor nutritional status, sanitation and hygiene, thus increasing their vulnerability towards getting water-borne illness and in turn increasing the risk for the entire community.
  • Our project ensures to supply drinking water at a price that is at least 10 times lesser than the commercial supply. Moreover, we empower the people and help them decide how they could help the poor sections of their community and make clean and safe drinking water for all of them.
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Our Model

We have adopted a community cost-sharing model and a demand-responsive adaptable approach involving strong community participation. We have initiated comprehensive information, education and communication campaign including publications, folk media, electronic media, rallies, campaigns and workshops that are undertaken to promote responsible water use and water conservation. Also, capacity building for monitoring and supervision is undertaken to ensure that:

  • Community takes charge of the filtration unit maintenance
  • There is equal and fair distribution of clean water to all in the community for their drinking and cooking purposes
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