Interesting post from Khalsa Aid Blog:
http://apps.khalsaaid.org/Blog/?e=19273&d=11/21/2008&s=LIVING BELOW POVERTY
I walked into a village in the Indian state of Madya Pardes and I saw a woman using a sieve to remove Insects, Stones, Soil and Leaves from a pot of water which she has just filled from the well next to her. I asked her what the water was for, she looked bemused and said it was for her family. She became very angry when I stated that the water will make her family sick if they drank it. She said they had no choice due to the village water pump regularly breaking down, so this was the only option. She has seen many people including young children become sick from drinking the polluted water but being born into dire poverty leaves the individual shackled to a life without choice.
I was invited to this region of India by the Gurmat Gian College Ludhiana who have recently built a Sikh Temple/Educational Centre near the town of Barhvah (60 KM from the city of Indore) They wanted Khalsa Aid to offer some assistance to these very poor people who have been identified as living below the poverty line by the regional minorities commission. This Temple/Centre has been built to offer education and spiritual guidance to the children in the surrounding villages.
I expected these people to be poor but not heartbreakingly poor; I was deeply moved by their hospitality and kindness in every village. I managed to visit about 10 villages in 2 days and every village had almost total lack of clean drinking water. I was also informed that during the summer months almost all the water pumps stop functioning and if it didn’t rain the wells dry up too. Its late November now and the temperature is still very warm but in the summer months it becomes unbearable and i dread the thought of these families going further and further in the searing heat to fill their water containers.
Khalsa Aid will be looking at the possible solutions to provide clean drinking water in the villages with a view to probably boring deeper down into the rock hard earth to reach good quality drinking water. This will be a costly project but a very rewarding and satisfying one for the donors who wish to offer their help to provide the most basic of needs for a human being, clean drinking water. Please please help Khalsa Aid to help these most downtrodden poor people to have clean water!
Khalsa Aid will also be looking into using a room in the new Temple as a medical facility to provide basic medical care to the poverty stricken villages. There is very little access to medical treatment in these villages so hopefully we will be able to change this. It’s a tough world for most of us but for these poor people it’s been a world of discrimination and suffering. Please donate.