“In India, an estimated 900,000 people die per year as a result of drinking unclean water…Around 40% of children under ager suffer from malnutrition, since inadequate sanitation and lack of clean water multiply the waterborne diseases that impact mostly children and the poor.” —Operation World, 2010, p. 410
Odisha (formerly Orissa) is the poorest State in India with 39.9 % of people living below the poverty line. On average people earn less than $2.00 per day. More importantly, 85% people of Odisha live in remote villages. 62 tribal groups are in the border region of Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand. Most tribal people, and outcastes among the poorest of the poor and living in remote, undeveloped villages, are near-frozen in time. Their awareness of changes in India is almost non-existent, so they continue to live as they always have. In addition, uncontrollable drought and water crisis are destructive of their farms. More importantly, most villages are primarily without safe drinking water and without proper irrigation systems. During summer season (March-June) North Indian states (Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh etc.) experience water scarcity. Our plan is to provide 5-10 wells (tube/bore wells) every year. Since 2003, STEP is reaching villages through various activities such as children clubs and women empowerment program. According to the survey, carried out by STEP community workers, many villages are facing water crisis during this summer and desperately in need of water. Each village has about 30-50 houses and most of the families are tribal and poor. Villagers have requested STEP to address the water crisis. Also, some of public schools are without any water facilities. East India is a dry land and people are suffering from various diseases due to unclean water. Bore-wells in the villages will help to solve the water crisis and provide safe drinking water.