Women in the hamlets had to walk a distance of around 8 to 12 kilometres to get drinking water from a nearby village in the state of Odisha.

For the first time in decades 2 hamlets in Araku Valley get potable drinking water Images: TNM Exclusive arrangement
news Human interest Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 19:32

When Balu Gadi took to social media urging his friends to help the residents of two hamlets in remote areas of Visakhapatnam get drinking water, he did not expect much. For decades, the two hamlets, Domalajoru and Rakthikandi of Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam, with a population of about 200 people, had never received potable water.

Women in the villages had to walk a distance of around 8 to 12 kilometres to get drinking water from a nearby village in the state of Odisha. 

However, days after his post, he began to receive messages from people offering contributions and donations to make sure the hamlets get drinking water to the hamlets.

Balu Gadi, who is the director of Rural Development Service Society (RDSS), along with a few other youths, decided to change the status quo.

Speaking to TNM, Balu Gadi said, "When I put up the post, several NRIs associated with TANA-US and many people here in India contacted me offering to help these tiny hamlets." 

The total expenditure came up to around Rs 2.5 lakhs and several people contributed amounts ranging from Rs 10,000 to 50,000. And after decades, citizens of the two hamlets received drinking water. 

Balu feels that without the support from NRIs like Ramchowdary Upputuri, Mallik Polineni, Suresh Ediga, Srinivas Ranabothu, as well as organisations such as AID, TANA and i4farmers, the residents of the two hamlets would not have been this happy. 

Unlike in the past, women in both hamlets are now getting water through the new taps connected to their new syntax water tank, which has a capacity of 3,000 litres. 

“We have set up the tank on the hill where the two hamlets are located and we have set up a few taps accordingly. The water is being brought to the houses with the help of a gravity pump system," Balu said. 

"I have never seen them such happy, they're all in celebratory mode," he added. 

Balu has now identified as many as 18 such hamlets who are waiting for potable water. 

“Today some residents met me, they're so happy with what we have done. I'm hoping that people will come forward like this and lend their hands for bettering those lives which have been neglected for generations,” he said. 

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