Wadgaonwadi, Lohara Taluka, Osmanabad, Maharashtra
This is a story of determination and perseverance of a village woman, Smt. Savita P. Surwase to succeed against all odds. Savita stays in far-off drought-stricken village ‘Wadgaonwadi’, of the Lohara Block in Osmanabad district.
Her family for some time had been facing health issues and her children were falling sick very frequently. This was owing to the open drains and accumulated water that had given rise to the mosquito population in the neighborhood. There was a bad odor and unclean environment which led to high frequency of sickness amongst the family members. She had to spend a significant amount every month on doctor visits and purchase of medicine. This all changed after the adoption of a soak-pit structure that was made in her household compound.
Savita, attended the awareness camp organized by BJS for educating the women groups on the adoption of soak pit structures. When no one showed interest and was skeptical about the usefulness of soak pits, she understood the importance of it. After the meeting, Savita approached her husband and other family members, they disliked the idea and felt it was a waste of money, so instead of giving up, she decided to raise funds of her own. Knowing that going against the wishes of her husband and family will cause her a great deal of agony, she still did not budge from her decision and with the support from Tata Technologies Ltd. and BJS, she installed a soak pit outside her house.
Because of the soak pit, the wastewater which was flowing in the by lanes outside her house had stopped, grubbing all the diseases and bad odour that came with it.
The other women in the village witnessed this wonderful change and immediately started to follow on Savita’s footsteps and decided to build soak pits outside their houses too. Today, this women-led small initiative has not only helped make Wadgaonwadi village clean but by way of soak pits it is also helping them with the restoration of underground water.
The commitment and the courage of this woman who, despite many odds, with a single step, inspired all other women of Wadgaonwadi to adopt the soak pit model for their households is taking the world closer towards fulfilling “SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation for All’.
‘Bharatiya Jain Sanghatna’ have constructed 486 soak pits in five villages of Lohara Taluka, Osmanabad under its ‘Sujalam Suphalam – Integrated Water Resource Management Project’ with the support of Tata Technologies Ltd..