News from CRUSADE
Providing Safe Drinking Water
The quality of the water provided by the state government to villages is very low and is deteriorating. In the Minjur area there has been the exploitation of ground water to provide drinking water in Chennai and as a result there has been the incursion of sea water. This then turns the water hard with total dissolved solids (TDS) exceeding the permissible limit.
With the contribution of Self Help Groups, CRUSADE commissioned a reverse osmosis plant at Thinaipakkam centre to distribute purified drinking water in the surrounding villages. The 500 litre per day plant caters for the needs of 20 SHGs in four nearby villages. Other groups would also like safe drinking water and so the project has been expanded. A unit was installed and constructed with a 1000 litre capacity tank. The project is nearing completion and will start supplying safe water in the upcoming months. The purified water will protect the target population from water borne diseases such as jaundice, diarrhoea and cholera.
Providing Shelter to Rural Communities
Action Rural Housing (ARH) is a not for profit organisation set up by SOTE’s partner CRUSADE to address the challenge of affordable housing finance for Self Help Group (SHG) members living in poverty. The main objective of the company is to promote safety, hygiene and health through proper housing.
ARH offer grant assistance to those living in extreme poverty. Although people are able to access government schemes for housing, the funding available isn’t sufficient and ARH step in to provide additional grants to complete the construction of housing. ARH’s work is greatly appreciated by the communities SOTE work with as it allows communities to live in safe and secure housing.
CRUSADE has been organising eye-screening camps in project villages in collaboration with Dr.Agarwal Eye Hospital, Chennai for the past few years. Eye screening helps identify elderly people who suffer from cataracts which is one of the common reasons for loss of vision among older people.
Through CRUSADE’s partnership with the hospital, those identified with cataracts are taken to hospital to receive surgery that is free of cost. This year they have already conducted 5 eye-screening camps which 241 people attended. Free cataract surgery was arranged for 29 people and spectacles were given to 67 individuals. 9 of these individuals are living in extreme poverty, so they received spectacles free of cost through SOTE’s ethical gift scheme.
You can read more about CRUSADE's work here.