Thursday, 4 February 2016

Bus Rides on the Roads of Rajasthan, Part I: The Blue City, Jaipur

My first field visit with Sarvajal began with my journey from Ahmadabad to Jaipur. I was incredibly excited because this felt personal: Rajasthan is my home state and it always feels good to be home. In addition, I wanted to see, how the organization I had just started working for was helping communities from my home state.

I reached Jaipur in the early morning and went straight to my hotel for a brief rest in order to recharge myself for the day. After a power nap, I met the local team and we planned to start the day by visiting a franchisee’s location on the outskirts of Jaipur. We took a bus ride to the location. The roadways bus, as expected, was jam-packed. There wasn’t much space to stand and people kept falling all over each other due to sudden brakes. Despite the ride not being smooth, it  was still fun – always an adventure traveling in India!

We arrived at our franchisee’s plant. His name was  Govind Singh. The place was neat and everything was in order. He showed us the place. After a short chat, we asked him about his experience with Sarvajal so far. Govind came  across as a person dedicated to his work. One of our team members told me that sometimes Govind himself delivers water to his customers despite having 9 supporting staff. This is  because he still gets pleasure from interacting with his customers and seeing how the water he provides is  making a difference in their lives. For this same reason, he has  been actively participating in the local marketing activities hosted by Sarvajal. He  is also earning good money by selling 200-800 campers every day.

Shri Gurukripa  Franchisee water shop
One thing that struck me the most about Govindwas  the  effort he had invested; everything from putting campers on the car for delivery to cleaning the place was supervised by him . He also took  great care about hygiene. It felt  wonderful seeing Sarvajal impacting people’s life directly. Not only the people who get their clean water and Govind Ji but also the 9 workers and their families.

After finishing our visit with the franchisee, I headed out for the next road trip to Ladnu which is around 300KMs from Jaipur. Reaching Ladnu after travelling  8 long hours I was greeted by local team members Ajay & Gorender Ji.

Ajay had recently joined Sarvajal and Gorender ji had been working with Sarvajal for the past 6 years. Both of them were really nice and were quite knowledgable about the communities and the local marketing activities they do.

I was all covered in dust and sand and feeling really exhausted so we called it a day. We started our day the next morning at 9:30 AM and visited the local public school to conduct our school drive activity. We noticed there was  some other function  going on simultaneously. Despite that I was excited to see many enthusiastic students come to take part in the event. We explained about what Sarvajal does and why the work of providing safe drinking water is important before asking the students to draw pictures on the theme of safe and clean water.

School drive at Public school in Ladnu
Some of the kids really amazed us with their beautiful paintings.. In the end, we gave out prizes to the winners in appreciation of their effort and enthusiasm. We ended our visit by distributing Sarvajal water to participants.
School drive at Public school in Ladnu
Then rushing through crazy traffic, with  the clock ticking away, we were just in time to board our train to Merta City for our next day of Sarvajal Story.

Stay posted for the next installments of  visitng Sarvajal in the field!



---Monika Meena

[Monika Meena is a fellow at Piramal Sarvajal. Find out more about us at Sarvajal and follow us on Twitter at @PiramalSarvajal]

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