Friday, 16 October 2020

Gohana village is a water scarce one and is dependent on a single main source of water- a well that is situated at one end of the village. The water is used for cooking and drinking. The closest source of water is a tube well with a TDS of 4000 ppm which is totally unpalatable – women take this water for all washing. The numerous hand pumps in the village goes dry in summer, the water is discolored and sometimes foul smelling – can never depend on them. Their journey to the well is through the main road from the approach of the village, this takes you through the fields dotted with peacocks, many a chowpal where men socialize, one or two verandas where elderly women are seen engrossed in their conversation, the small hill with the temple at the top, goats and buffaloes returning home, women milking their buffaloes–the walk is a pleasant one for all that it is worth. For all of us who have the luxury of drinking water coming home through a pipe or from a bubble top, the warm breeze on a summer evening still is a new experience. The slope coming down to the well makes it a rather joyous walk.  An easy, one to two kilometer distance is what a woman needs to cover depending on where her house is located. As the sun begins to retire for the day, women of all ages are seen walking down the path to the well carrying their empty pots and ropes. They go in groups as it is also their time to share their own stories – of children, in-laws, friends and husbands.

Take a peep into that large well, and the head swoons and a tingle in your feet warns you of the depth. But for the women in Gohana that well is the center of their life. Women and girls spend time, take turns to draw water using pulleys and ropes. Their able children help them in pulling up the filled buckets of water. They use a cloth to sieve the water to avoid any floating matter. The walk back home with the two to three pots of water on the head is a long and arduous one. The slope of the road now being upward, the warmth generated with each  stride is enhanced by the warmth of the breeze, the sweat breaking out at the temples and nape,  the distance somehow begins to feel longer – home seems farther than it is.

The women in Rajasthan wear their goongats, the veil, in respect to the elders and most often their entire face is fully covered and their colourful attire makes them stand out in the otherwise stark landscape—their walk with well-balanced pots on their heads has become a part of the landscape. These water carriers make nice wall paintings both outside their houses and in the temples, an iconic statement of good omen, carved into the social fabric, none of them really talk about the pain in the neck and shoulders that women may experience. Or do they even complain of it – for every homemaker, bringing water home is a given thing, not a choice. Starting at tender years this role of the water carrier —an unpaid and unrecognized job, is a lifetime position.  This effort is a daily experience for women in many parts of rural India, the distance covered in their steady stride back and forth a couple of kilometers from home each time, spending a minimum of an hour on this work each day. If women were to walk this distance everyday say for 50 years of their life, they would have covered a distance that can go around the earth at least one time in their life by foot –All for water.

One question that comes to my mind is, how is Sarvajal making things easier for women with our water ATMs?  The ATM is located closer to the village in comparison to the well which is located in an isolated place. The place is more accessible and is in a compound and women can feel safe there. Women can go even after the sun is down as it is well lit both by the lights on the road and the lights at the ATM.  A CCTV camera installed by the Panchayat in the vicinity of ATM is an added protection. Women’s distance may not be shorter but they definitely do not have to tug at the pulley to get the water they need – saves them the energy and physical effort. If you spend some time at our ATM you will notice that a lot more men are the ones who carry water from the ATM than women –we don’t know if it is because one has to use a card that showcases the man as tech savvy.  Is it because carrying water in a bubble top or a camper on a bike or a scooter is seen as a masculine thing to do and seems to be more acceptable in the space of men. Or maybe men have genuinely crossed the stereotypes and barriers that prevented them from carrying water home and are happy being considered helping their women folk at home.  Whatever it may be, this role of fetching-water-home behavior displayed by men has given the women a break from bringing water home.  It is a gender bender of sorts – a welcome change from the perspective of a woman—Small changes on our road to the larger gender-inclusive vision for the country.  We may have to wait to see if it really is a gender bender! Maybe a day will come when the painting on the wall in Gohana has men carrying water on their bikes. For now, I am happy that there is a beginning to a positive change towards alleviating the burden on women. 


Thursday, 15 October 2020

Village Bhinay, Ajmer district in Rajasthan, recently had the inauguration of ‘Safe drinking water Unit’ - the Jal Jeevan project supported by the CSR from Indus Ind Bank and implemented by Piramal Sarvajal.  

Bhinay village is a great example of women leadership, especially in all the key position required for the rural development.  The Village  Pradhan is  Sushri( Ms) Anu Sharma, Smt .Uma Varma is the Sarpanch of the Village,  Smt. Gita Mali is the Deputy Sarpanch , Smt. Sanju Meena  is SDM of Bhinay , Smt. Sonu Gupta is Revenue Officer ,  Smt. Seema  Goud is the Village Development Officer and Smt. Tinu Jha is the School Principal of the Government School. While elected representative like Smt .Uma Varma, Sarpanch started out just to fulfill the aspiration of Subhash Varma her spouse, when she shouldered the responsibility alongside an active partner, she began to represent social issues that affect women and started taking the lead in influencing the community to support local causes.  Women leadership was not limited to the elected position; it was also heartening to see the key multiple positions required for decision making was also being headed by women.

In the inauguration women from Bhinay in positions such as SDM and Revenue Officer, used their public speaking skills to articulate their interest in the Safe drinking water project, their financial acumen to explain the sustainability of such community based solutions, their knowledge of budget to encourage people especially the women to look at the affordability of the solution. Smt. Sanju Meena SDM compared the price of Rs 20 a can to Rs.6 from Jal Jeevan and asked women to use the facility which is an asset to Bhinay. Women in power are also the women who care for their own family, when they tasted the water and had the first hand feeling of the quality of the water from the ATM; they were able to compare it with the water they consume at their own homes. They then advocated for the good quality of water to the people who have gathered for the launch and encouraged people to take water from the Unit. 

The entire panel of women leaders on the stage of the launch on November 23, 2019   is in a political space that was largely a bastion of men.  Sarvajal team was pleasantly surprised at the presence of women in decisive leadership position and acknowledges this as an enabling recipe for addressing women centric issues as crucial as safe drinking water.  Daulat Ram, our community awareness executive shared “we have been to many launches across the country in the last 6 years, but it is the first time that we have seen such large presence of women leaders in one village – and it is great for our cause”

Sarvajal salutes this era of leadership of women in this village and look forward to their support in  taking  forward Jal Jeevan  project and Sarvajal’s vision of  ‘Water for All at affordable price’!  

Friday, 9 October 2020

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water – WH Auden

A District with Need - Mewat of Haryana

With the mission to find the right school to create access to safe drinking water for children, the Sarvajal team set out with an open mind. The secondary data search took the team to the district of Mewat in Haryana. Apportioned as a separate district from Gurgaon in 2005, Mewat had alarmingly low indicators of education, health, standard of living, public infrastructure and services.

Being a the semi-arid region with highly saline groundwater, there is an acute drinking water shortage in the villages in Mewat, to the extent that they are dependent on the neighbouring villages for water. The district also grapples with an unhygienic environment and appalling living conditions. This, together with minimal health infrastructure, further weighs down on its population’s health.      

In comparison to the rest of Haryana, Mewat’s sex ratio indicated a favourable trend in the last census, but in contrast to it, the literacy rate among females is far lower than that of the males in the same district. The conservative families of the region preferred to bestow an edge to their male children by sending them off to other districts or private schools for education. As usual, a girl child is often burdened with household chores or married early and may not get to see the lights of a classroom. A study commissioned by Niti Aayog also cited the ‘burden of fetching water for the family’ as one of the reasons for girls dropping out of school. This sets the vicious cycle of a girl’s life, in motion. Only girl children who are fortunate enough would find their way to a government school. Given this, odds are that we still would find more girl children in a Government Primary School than boys.

All that was not right in the district of Mewat made it just the right choice for a Sarvajal intervention – the school that was selected as the Government Primary School in Nagina.  

About the Government Primary School in Nagina

Located in Nagina, one of the 5 blocks of Mewat, the school was established in 1964. The school has 830 students, 23 classrooms, 18 teachers (in the place of 32) and 8 cooks to take care of the noon meal scheme.  A broad range of issues prevents the school from thriving — the infrastructure, dilapidated toilets, furniture that needed fixing and more. The school had just the bare minimum – the head master’s room is a witness to it.

But the greatest of the hazards to the health of the children was the large dumping ground in front of the school - stagnant water from sewages modelled a home to many a pig family. Swarms of houseflies that enveloped everything around could send a chill down any unsuspecting visitor’s spine. It reminds you of the hard task that rests squarely on the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan with our Prime Minister as the key champion. It also reminds you of the indifference that plagues our society – the resultant inaction.   

The water sources are two, a tube well with 2000 ppm TDS and water from supply stored in a reservoir. When these were not enough school bought tanks of water. The school did not have enough assistance to buy water all the time.

Arun from VI standard has a great smile but dental fluorosis has already made his teeth opaque with a brown stain, a sign of degeneration of teeth. His father works as a peon in the bank, he lives in a joint family and has around 14 members in it. He does not bring water from home but he drinks many times from the newly installed water facility with purification plant since his class is the closest to the water spout. Many children in the school have opaque teeth like his, though it is not reversible, further erosion can be prevented if they avoid water with high fluoride. 

Sarvajal through a CSR partnership with Dr. Lal Path Lab established a 500 LPH purification plant at this school on April 26 2018. The water is purified with RO and UV/UF technology and made available for children to drink through the day.  

Girl’s education and water

The students belong to an underprivileged migrant community that earns a living as farm labourers.  While female literacy is only 27% in Nagina, the fact that the school has 436 girls to 394 boys made the Sarvajal’s team hopeful.  One of the women teachers confirmed that throughout Mewat this would be the norm- as boys get to go to private schools and the girls’ enrollment in government primary school would be higher. Girls would be taken off the school as soon as they have siblings to take care.  The double standards for girls and boys very visible and shocking but the team’s resolve to work in that school strengthened.

Ganga in class fourth brings her little brother who is two and half years old with her to school, her mom works in the field, the little one would get noon meals ( a generous portion of Kichri ) and water carefully fed by his sister – the school would allow that, if not the parents may withdraw her from school.

Rinku in the same class comes from a large family of 14 people, her father and his brothers live in the same house. She has 3 brothers, who go to a private school Arya Samaj School in Nagina.   She lives far away from the school and has to walk for an hour to get to school. She brings water in the blue bottle and fills it twice in the day. She smiled a shy smile when she told she wanted to be a teacher.

With the focus of the child picking up the beached starfishes and throwing them into the sea one by one to make a difference to that particular starfish, Sarvajal saw an opportunity to serve safe drinking water to the girls studying in the government school.

The school turns the inauguration of the Sarvajal plant into an advocacy platform

The school has been struggling to ensure that it receives prominence in the eyes of the government to attract financial support to keep it functional. The Headmaster, Mr. Hari Chand invited the key stakeholders the community leaders, Block Education Officer and Pachayat leaders for the inauguration, to advocate for the different needs of the school.  The Headmaster said, “Today we have pure drinking water from Piramal Sarvajal through their CSR partner and we are positive that it will improve the lives for children, I am looking forward for support from all of you to improve the school.”

He articulated the benefit “To know there is an unrestricted supply of safe drinking water at the school will help the school gain recognition in the eye of the community. If the parents know the children will get safe drinking water round the clock we will be able to retain children in the school.”

Dinesh, a teacher who has been with the school for the last one and half years said “From a school strength of 717 last year17-18, it has risen to 830 this academic year, this school is located at the centre of the village and news spreads fast, that there is an arrangement for purified drinking water – parents have gained confidence in school. Blessed be those who made the decision to put the water purification unit in this school.   

The Children We Serve

Generally, children of primary school age need at least 3-4 glasses of water during the day with the number going higher in summers when the temperature is at its peak. The scorching sun seldom deters the spirited young children from running around in rigorous catch-me-if-you-can-games during lunch break. Bare feet and hot sand don’t matter at all.  This is all the more reason to situate drinking water at a convenient, easy-to-run-to and safe location. The ease has to be from an access point of view that encourages these young sun-braving hearts to drink regularly. With the safety highlight, the water needs to lure them in taste and motivate them to return to it many times a day – it truly sounds like a mother’s job. “Paani peethe rahna beta – dhoop tej hai”

Even running in groups from one building to another aimlessly pulling at each other and huddling together at the end of the run seems to be so much fun. Oblivious to sweat gleaming on the temples, and trickling down the nape, the drying lips and the parching throats, they are engrossed in play. Soon the little body start sending signals to run to a water spout – Sarvajal’s safely housed purification plant and the water dispensed at the right height for children welcomes them. The sight of children in a row cupping their palms to drink from the flowing stream of water  from the tap, with steady gulping sounds, with an ‘ah!’ that puts a satisfying end to that perfect drink, wiping the lingering water from their faces with the back of their little hands, is heartening. The water quenches their thirst and their wet palm cools their face. The satiated look on the face of these little ones is precisely why Sarvajal is here.

While this plant is located in the primary section of the school, the opportunity to serve is doubled since the premises also houses higher secondary school which has around 250 students the tbenefit of access of safe drinking water also can be utilized by these adolescent girls.

Water Champions

Mrs. Alka, Teacher of class two added “Children bring two bottles each day in summers, heavy on their backs – and as you see it is hot and sultry – two bottles are over in no time, children are thirsty soon and in this heat they get tired fast and they are not attentive. With the water plant in the premises, children need to bring just one bottle and refill it through the day during the breaks.’’

The community awareness team visits this school once a month and works with the children to help them understand why they need to drink safe water, drink more water and how water can help them become smarter. This also includes early lessons of self-discipline by way of helping the children go in a line to take water and to get back to class as soon as it is done. They are also encouraged to take water in their bottle when they return home. Through variety of participatory methodology like singing, dancing, drawing and drama with simple messages, the team engages the children.

Every child has been given a blue bottle, so that they will continue to have water in the class room and there is more time in the class to learn new things.

Many a reason to keep a child from school, water should never be one!

When private schools that distinguishes between the world of haves and have-nots, Government schools hold the safety net for every child who has already fallen through the sieves of privilege and fortune. While the opportunity to serve girls resonates at the hearts, not to forget are the boys who are here due to social and economic situations of their parents. Among those girls and boys are many who have stunted growth due to nutritional deficiencies, many living with conditions attributed at birth and many differentially abled- the school with its minimum facilities have welcomed them and are providing them education.

Safe water can keep them in good health, prevent them from falling ill with waterborne illness, help children achieve some of their developmental milestones, continue to study and  rise above their  current predicament – support them to have a dream and pursue it.  

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

 Rural communities have always strived to be closer to nature and work in harmony with it.

I was usually talking to one of our operators, Bhagwant Singh(22) from Rajkiyawas, Rajasthan about the functioning of our purification plant there. He was relating how the quality of water and its availability has always been a challenge in Rajasthan. He goes to say people are happy to get safe drinking water round the clock now.

Bhagwant talks of times his parents struggled for water.

I was curiously listening to him and could not hold back myself and said, "What do you do to conserve water"? To my surprise he immediately sent me pictures of the self-made rainwater harvesting storage tank and set up his father has built to store water. Now, this got me excited and caught my attention. He said, "My father was farsighted and believed in helping oneself and others. He was very clear about solving his own issues. If I recall his words, he said, "Amtanirbhar Bano, khud raste dhoondo aur aage badho, Isse Apna aur dusro ka bhala Karo". I am happy my father showed me the way our national leaders are now talking".

I could recall what I recently read about Gandhiji who said,

 "The future depends on what we do in the present".

Bhagwant also agreed to it and goes on to say, “It’s been 20 years since we have rainwater harvesting system at home. The storage tank is 8 feet deep and stores around 11000 litres of water which my family uses for cleaning and bathing. We are prepared as you never know when we runoff water so it's essential to conserve every drop of rainfall. This year, we were able to store 8000 litres of rainwater and have utilised 3000 litres till now".

He says his mother used to say, "Bharish ka pani bhagwan ka arshivad hai toh use shambhal ke rakhna chaiye and zarurat padne pe logo ko baatna bhi chaiye". So his family also help the community members when they need water.

Towards the end of the call, I was so motivated and happy to know there is so much to learn from everyone. I smiled and told Bhagwant that I will be sharing this with all so each one of us can work towards being #Atmanirbhar and #LocalseVocal.

Thursday, 3 September 2020


Franchisee- Rewari, Haryana

The global pandemic has brought changes in various aspects of our lives. In these testing times, it is essential to show empathy to others and engage in helpful actions. Empathy simply means understanding the situations and emotions of the person of what he/she is experiencing. 

Recently conversing with our Franchisee Nitesh Bansal from Rewari location helped me to pen down his experiences of supporting others who were struggling at the time of complete lockdown in the nation. 

Franchisee Nitesh began his entrepreneurship journey on 20 March 2015. The franchisee model is one of the models of Piramal Sarvajal that leverages the entrepreneurial skills of local people with their technology and equipment. With the support of’s small financing to the franchisee, the plant was implemented to provide affordable, accessible and safe drinking water. 

When asked about the situations at the beginning of the lockdown he shared “I involved myself in the delivery as people’s trust for services was imperative. My employees are important to me as they have always been there in all ups and downs. I provided 6 layered masks for their safety. We started sanitising the camper in front of our consumers to maintain transparency among them.”

Figure 1 Vehicles are regularly being sanitised

Mai bas yahi chahta tha ki is samay mai bhi mere client aur customer ko acchi se acchi service mile aur koi rukawat na aaye” All I wanted was to give better services to my client and customers without any hindrance. Total of 68 customers are currently taking the services of Sarvajal. 

They maintained and shared all precautionary measures provided in the health guideline; sanitising the ATM all the time, reminding people to maintain social distancing, washing hands and utensils, wearing masks. He narrates when the situation became worst and led to a shutdown; I got permission from the District Collector to continue with the services. 

“The greatest good is what we do for one another” - Mother Theresa

By looking at the conditions of nearby labourers travelling to their native place led him to take initiatives for them. “As Sevabhaav, I decided to provide free water. “Jitne bhi bahar ke labour the, unko kai din tak free jal seva humne di thi”. I get it made 2000 masks and spent from my pocket, later distributed to all who needed that time.” 

Figure 2 (2000) masks distributed to the migrant labours

Figure 3 The plant is regularly sanitised and campers are cleaned every day

He shared  "if you are in a financial position to help others then reach out however you can, supporting others can give a sense of empowerment.

Show concern, be conscious and do not maintain emotional distancing with people. 

#beaware #besafe 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Bhaur, Maharashtra  
Adopted a Village by SGS India Pvt Ltd

The current situation owing to coronavirus pandemic has made people wake up and realise who the real heroes are- the frontline workers who are continuously managing the crucial duty without any day-off. 

Today I am going to throw light upon one of the resilient frontliners, our operator Bhaushaheb Ji from Bhaur, Maharashtra who came forward and firmly stood for the overall health of the community. The location is adopted by SGS India Pvt Ltd under its CSR initiative with the implementing partner Piramal Sarvajal to provide safe, accessible, and affordable drinking water facility. 

At the beginning of the lockdown, his family was concerned and restricted him to go out. Bhausaheb Ji was resilient and wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of the people in this difficult situation. He tried to make them understand about collective welfare of the community. .” He shared “Family ka kehna sahi tha lekin apne kaam se peeche nahi hat sakte hai, yahi sahi samay tha logo aur jaagruk karna ki saaf paani kitna zaroori hai” By looking at his grit, family told him to take precautions consciously and work outside.

Figure 1 Children come with their parents with all protection. They fetch water while maintaining social distancing and sanitising utensils regularly

He kept going “while understanding the importance of precautionary measures, around 30 consumers who were not regular are now moved towards our safe and affordable solution.”

Mr. Bhausaheb has not only created awareness in the community but has helped the panchayat in paying some amount for the sanitisation in their village. He fellows a safety guideline provided by the team of Sarvajal, sanitise the ATM all the time, remind people to maintain social distancing, and ask villagers to wash their hands and utensils. 

He shared “If people won’t get safe water then there are chances to fall ill quickly” Agar saaf paani nahi mila toh log aur jaldi bimaar bhi ho sakte hai.

“Making people aware was a tough challenge; the current TDS of Bhaur borewell is 2600 ppm which I announce daily so that it gets ingrained in the mind of our villagers. During these difficult moments, I should acknowledge Ganesh Ji and Dayanithi Ji who support me and always uplift my motivation.”

From his statements, it is visible that his efforts and unstoppable grit have shown a drastic jump in the water off-take by 119% (Comparing March- 35261 litres and May- 76205 litres total production) 

He has displayed dedication by keeping the health of the community over himself and his family. A true example of how someone understands the community’s need and encourages others to be in a path of righteous actions at the same time acknowledge people who support him in these difficult times. 

Bhaushaheb Ji’s grit kept him grounded during the days when he used to manage everything at one time. His willpower led him to fight the battle and it still continues.. 

Sarvajal Enterprise Management System shows the monthly pattern of daily dispense

Kakkadasam- Adopt a Village by Ashok Leyland

When the nation faces the challenge to overcome from the global pandemic it becomes natural to face uncertainties in life. However, people in the location of Kakkadasam village, Tamil Nadu have a moment of respite with Sarvajal services. During the lockdown, there was no electricity in an area for more than 2 days and even the panchayat was not able to fill the village water tank. 

As the problem evolves, Sarvajal healed the situations of the community. The 24*7 services slowly led the villagers to moved towards safe drinking water. 

The operator Pratap Ji shared that during the lockdown many people came back who were working outside the village thus the demand of water naturally increased. 

He follows a safety guideline, sanitising the ATM all the time, reminding people to maintain social distancing and asking villagers to wash their hands and utensils.

Figure 1 Social distancing circles created by the operator

The water off-take has shown improvement by 26%. (Comparison of march- 65309 litres and May- 82270 litres of total production) The average water dispense is 3500 litres/day, previously it was 2807 litres/day. The operator shares that from the month of March, 74 new cardholders enrolled for safe water services of Sarvajal. 

Figure 2 Consumer Testimonial                                                                                                                                       Consumer Pawenesh (left) and Siva Kumar (right) appreciate the water available throughout the day during the lockdown and are happy with the safe services of Sarvajal. “It is protecting us from getting ill.”

Safe water protects and save lives

The community regularly acknowledges the leadership of women in Village Water Committee. A unique feature of all locations of Ashok Leyland is the formation of Village Water Committee which is responsible for planning, implementation, operation, maintenance and management of the Project. 

Out of 11, 9 are the women members and are a part of Self Help Groups as well. The VWC has indeed strengthened the local community system, promoted greater community participation with monthly meetings without fail. 

Sarvajal Enterprise Management System shows the monthly pattern of daily water dispensed

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

With COVID pandemic and the uncertainty jeopardizing the economy, HR departments are trying their best to keep the business operations stable and the employees motivated but is it as easy as it sounds? Jay Raval finds out in conversation with Ms. Deepa Dave, General Manager-HR, Piramal Sarvajal. 

Three months back COVID-19 struck and started disrupting routine, lifestyle, businesses and the global economy. As this pandemic was on the rise, most of the countries declared the current situation as a national emergency locking down everything apart from the essential services, which required organisations to change the course of working. At Piramal Sarvajal, response to COVID became the top priority for HR department. To begin with, a multi-department emergency response team was constituted, comprising of 10 members, sending a message that preparations are in place for an effective, collaborative and coordinated response to the pandemic. 

Focus being on the safety of employees and customers, HR team made phone calls. Deepa during the conversation tells “There are some of the employees who might not have the facility to access the email or government advisory every time like, Drivers, Plant Operators, CALM Executives, so it’s important that calls are made and they are educated about the preventive steps to be taken for theirs and family’s well-being. Around 12 team calls within a span of 3 days were done with different teams along with their leads. Each call lasting nearly 45 mins, we spoke about preventive measures for the well-being of employees and measures at the Sarvajal drinking water facilities, so that community continues to take water without any fear and panic and we continue to serve our community during these difficult times”. 

To ensure smooth and regular communication with staff, region-wise point of contacts were made and WhatsApp groups were created. Marketing team pitched in to prepare awareness materials which were then circulated. “It was really pleasant to experience that what guidelines and steps were imparted were followed with complete sincerity at various locations”.

To streamline work from home, guidelines were developed and shared with teams. With infection rising high, fear and anxiety can affect the mental and physical well being of the people. Team HR took in steps towards that direction too. Deepa elaborates on the steps taken“During the lockdown period we started Employee connect in which Paresh and Kshitij made calls to every employee. The objective of calling was to understand their and families well being in a way assuring that we are here to help, we care. The main reason being we have employees who are staying alone, from other states, who are staying in a joint family and are working in the field. if we found employee’s family member was not well, we were in touch with them till the time they recovered.  There were two JFE’s stuck in the lockdown so, Paresh was in touch with them till the time they reached their place. Amita sensitively handled issues of an employee staying in Ahmedabad during lockdown period”. Deepa talks about the ripple effect it created. “In these 3 months, employee calling helped my team members to get more connected with each of the employees of the organisation. More importantly, my team has developed an amazing rapport during these times”.  Expertise from Piramal Swasthya team was utilised to provide information about COVID Infection along with Inhouse sessions.  

With the easing of lockdown restrictions and reopening of the office, HR team prepared well in advance. Deepa while talking about preparation adds, “In conjunction with office opening guidelines, allowing limited no of employees to come to the office, conducting daily temperature screenings and symptom checks before employees enter the office, requiring employees to wear a face mask, having Aarogya setu app, moving workstations to keep employees at least 6 feet apart and ensuring social distancing is maintained were the steps taken”.  

All this required a team effort. Deepa proudly talks about her team members, “Despite the fact that Paresh Mepal and Ashok Bhai stay far away, they, including Mahendra did not say no, whenever they were asked to come making sure that office is sanitised and safeguard equipment are in place before other team members come. Before opening office, Paresh and Amita checked every guideline of the building premise and also spoke to various vendors to provide us quality materials. Awareness sessions on the guidelines were taken by Amita and Paresh for various team members based at Rajasthan, Gorakhpur and MP and warehouse”. 

HR team worked with Finance team to ensure salaries were disbursed on time and deposited in the respective accounts.  Talking with employees on a regular basis has helped HR team connect well and resolve the smallest queries. Deepa as a HR team lead is a strong believer of practicing, before you preach to others. 

She shares example of team member Ashok Bhai. “Ashokbhai has been with us for a long time now. He was well aware of the new normal and personally ensured that all prerequisites are in place. The assurance that he gives “Madam chinta na karo hu chu ne”, is a great relief. Ashok bhai downloaded the Aarogya Setu app, did registration for himself and then he was telling to others to use it”. With the new way of working, Ashokbhai’s tea and hospitality at office (ever smiling face, flowers at desk) helps us relive the earlier moments spent in office. Knowing that roster is followed, he wants be in office for all working days. He has trained Mahendra for making tea”. Further she adds, “Seema silently played an important role along with Amita to ensure that mediclaim coverage process continues during these difficult times. Aarohi was always ready to be in office and support team whether it was to do with guidelines or connecting with team members”. 
The efforts by HR team yielded accolades from the organisation. “When the office reopened first time, we received appreciation from different teams which was heartening” and I would like to say that with all initiatives taken by HR team they shown the example of योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् 

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Delhi Jal Board – Narela Location

As the number of cases has risen in Delhi, many of the local people of Narela, Delhi have started adopting Sarvajal Solutions as shared by operator Ajay Ji. 

The location of Narela, Delhi comes under the Delhi Jal Board. In 2015, due to the prevailing situation of safe drinking water scarcity, they collaborated with Piramal Sarvajal as an implementing partner to provide safe, affordable, and accessible drinking water solutions. 

The location has a hub with 4 spokes to reach out to every area of the community. Currently, the hub has 3 wall mount structure and 1 ring structure machine to fetch water. Till date, 3863 cards have been made. 

 Regular sanitisation and social distancing at Narela 

Ajay ji mentioned, “during the lockdown, Sarvajal Kendra was open 24*7 at Narela, I and other employees were available throughout the day. For self-protection, I put up a rope near my desk to maintain social distancing. People are satisfied with the quality of water and regular services. 
We follow every health guideline to educate our consumers. I reinforce the measures by telling them many times to regularly wash hands and utensils, clean your surroundings and have clean water so that it gets ingrained in their behaviours and actions.”  

 The rope is a reminder for social distancing. 

Consumer Testimonial- Pawan Kumar, (5 members in the family)

During the lockdown when I saw the crowd at Sarvajal plant, I decided to take water from a private supplier. I switched 4 vendors but my family and I were not satisfied with the quality and hygiene. I ended up again taking water from Sarvajal. Ajay Ji suggested me to come early morning to fetch water. In these difficult times, the machine is working constantly and I really appreciate the hard work of the team who manages multiple tasks at the same time.

 Sarvajal Enterprise Management System showing the monthly pattern of daily dispense

The water off-take from March (179710 litres) to May (297714 litres) total production has shown improvement by 65% which shows how people have developed a sense of caring towards themselves and their family. After interacting with the consumers, the feeling of satisfaction and pride is indeed visible and they are happy with the services of Sarvajal. 

Friday, 17 July 2020

Adopt a Village by Standard Chartered Bank- Kharsan, Rajasthan

Picture Courtesy: Radhe Shyam Ji 

Coronavirus has globally impacted the lifestyle of the people overall. No doubt many of us have changed and showed improvements in our day to day activities to stay healthy.

Today I am going to talk about some positives changes adopted by the people of Kharsan, Rajasthan to have safe drinking water. Kharsan is one of the locations adopted by Standard Chartered Bank under its health CSR initiative. Piramal Sarvajal is the implementing partner to provide safe, affordable and accessible drinking water to the underserved. 

While conversing with our operator Mr. Radhe Shyam on how he reinforced his consumers to take Sarvajal Facility regularly is highly insightful. He narrates, "March se ab tak 15 naye card ban gaye hai mai yaha ek hi cheez bolta hu sabko ki saaf safai ke sath sath hume saaf paani bhi lagataar peete rehne ki zarurat hai"

During the conversation, he shared, “whoever is coming across I am trying to explain the situations that the entire nation is facing and we need to fight this together. The raw water TDS is more than 1300 which I regularly update to my costumers and others that it's not safe to drink especially in these difficult times."

Figure 1 Consumers sanitise their utensils before filing water and cover their mouth to reduce the risk of being infected 

While continuing conversing with him, I couldn't control myself to ask him about what changes he has personally seen in his life during the lockdown. He then laughed and very calmly said “it is now inbuilt in me that no matter what, I have to clean the plant and sanitize the ATM regularly. I never imagined that this habit is going to sustain but now it's happening naturally and I feel good about it that I am doing something to contribute in my community.”

About the consumers, he explains that many of them have started having a feeling that this facility is set up for us then why to go outside the village and bring water when we have the facility with health security as the plant is sanitised regularly. 

One of the consumers shared "ye bohot accha hai ki is kathin paristhiti mai humare gaon mai ye suvidha hai jisse hum kabhi bhi paani le sakte hai" It is a matter of pride for them to have Sarvajal affordable and safe drinking water facility in their village. 

Figure 2 Consumers sanitise their utensils before filing water and cover their mouth to reduce the risk of being infected 

I ended with the same by congratulating him for his efforts and shared the improvement in the water off-take by comparing April production from May water production. (March- 19212 litres and May- 34097 litres) There is a remarked improvement by 77% which is commendable. 

He acknowledged and happily said “madam abhi toh bhi bhadega ab log jagruk ho rahe hai samajh rahe hai ki paani bhi saaf lena hi hai, agar is paristhiti se majbooti se ladna hai toh”

Figure 3 Sarvajal Enterprise Management System shows litre dispense of May month

By sharing his experiences around the consumers it was evident that with his consistent efforts and community engagement has remarkably increased the responses. Community is now adopting safe and healthy lifestyle habits.