Mr. Suraj Tote, resident of Bhandri village in Chikhaldara block, Amravati district, Maharashtra was working as a security guard in Nagpur, Maharashtra. He was dissatisfied with his job, not because the pay was not good. He dreamt of working for the welfare of his people back in the village. He was aware of the problems faced by his wife and daughters to fetch water for their domestic needs as they had to walk 2 hours daily, sometimes twice a day. Not only the walk was excruciating, but there was no assurance that water would be available in the well especially during the summer season.

His happiness knew no bounds when he heard that Water For People India and Colgate Palmolive (India) Limited were collaborating with the villagers to provide sustainable water supply at household levels. He left his job in the city to get involved in this noble initiative.

His unrelenting enthusiasm and support got him inducted into the Village Water and Sanitation Committee. He assisted Water For People India in operation and maintenance (O&M) of the water supply system. This involved the excavation for laying the pipeline, construction of a groundwater storage reservoir, and then connecting the storage reservoir to individual households and public institutions.

After project completion, he focused on training the villagers to operate and maintain the system. As he had prior knowledge of electrical work, he was entrusted with the responsibility of a waterman in Bhandri village.

Mr. Tote says, “Women in our houses walk miles to fetch water for household activities. It took them a complete day to collect enough water to meet the daily requirements of the family. Now, they have sufficient water available at home, at all times.” He is immensely thankful for the opportunity to serve his community and uplift his village.

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