KARNATAKA, India – Until a year ago, the water in Beechaganahalli village in Karnataka, India, was poisoning everyone who lived there. It was naturally full of arsenic and fluoride. However, the women in the village campaigned to change things, first by holding demonstrations and then by visiting every house and school to raise awareness. Eventually, along with the village council, they persuaded a public health organization, Swasti, to help.
Swasti built a water filtration plant that provides clean water. Although the water’s not free, it is much cheaper than the mineral water the women had been buying before. And under the terms of the deal agreed for Swasti to build the plant, the women help run and maintain it.
The women of the village now travel to other villages to warn of the dangers of fluoride and arsenic in the groundwater and to ensure everyone can have access to clean drinking water.