We take for granted that we won’t have to struggle every day for water and food but for the village slum community of Bridgipeta, this is the hard reality of life. I was there in early October 2016 while visiting small aid projects run by local churches in Kovvur, just outside Rajahmundry in India’s Andhra Pradesh state.
There are about 1,000 people in Bridgipeta, living in makeshift tarpaulin homes, mud huts or sometimes just under the trees, and working where they can as itinerant labourers. They were so kind and welcoming. Many ushered us to step inside their homes, which were bare except for a few cooking utensils and perhaps a sleeping mat. A number of people looked ill and I remember a crying toddler with fever, clasped in her mother’s arms. I could feel in the atmosphere how hard life is when you have nothing and there is no hope for change.
While I was there a group of men approached and asked if I would help them build a well. I felt immediately that this is something I must do. I was told that the local government sometimes brings water but this is unreliable. Usually they have to travel far if they want something safe to drink.
Arriving back in London and my job in a City glass tower felt surreal after my trip. I started researching and contacting charities that might be able to build the well, if I raised the funds. There are many organisations that work to provide safe water around the world but they were often not able to take on one-off projects or did not work in this part of India – and local language skills as well as trusted contractors in the region are essential. Eventually I heard back from Water of Life (www.givefreshwater.net): they work in Andhra Pradesh and could build the well! Also, the cost was within my estimate!
To be able to access clean water every day would make a real positive difference for the people of Bridgipeta. I look forward to going back to see the new well. Thank you for your help in offering a hand of hope!
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Esther Martin4 days ago
I'm really thrilled to have hit the one-third mark. A big 'thank you' to everyone who has contributed so far!
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Dec 9, 2016
Hope you reach your target! x
Dec 8, 2016
Good luck Esther, looking forward to the finish line!
gaik sui kee
Dec 8, 2016
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