Saturday, 27 June 2020

Arvind Vihar, Bhopal Franchisee – Water. Org

Story by: Vaishali Sharma 
Picture courtesy: Jayendra Ji

The pandemic has indeed opened up new opportunities to enhance our potential by displaying humility towards self and others. We have realised now that there’s no need to rush upon things.
Empathy and humility is the key ingredient when helping those suffering from instability and pressure during this difficult situation. Our frontline workers, such as Asha workers, panchayat members, operators, sanitation workers, are also somehow susceptible to uncertainty and needs upliftment to manage themselves with positivity.

Similar to this context, today I am going to highlight some empathetic initiatives that were shared by the franchisee Jayendra Ji from Arvind Vihar, Bhopal. 

The franchise 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 safe, affordable and accessible drinking water.

Figure1: Hand Gloves, sanitisers and masks have inculcated in daily habits among our frontliners 

When asked about the situations at the beginning of the lockdown, he shares “Amid the lockdown my family and closed ones were quite disturbed. Many of my friends who work in different places, wanted to come back to their hometown.”

“When the lockdown was announced, I and my team collectively decided to provide camper supply on alternate days as my employee’s health was on topmost priority to me”

Franchisee Jayendra Ji has 4 employees working under him. After a month of lockdown two of his workers wanted to go back to their village. They were unable to move, as there were no transportation facilities. Without any second thought, Jayendra Ji decided to arrange a car to drop them to their respective villages. 

He shared “maine mere employees ko bola acche se jaao koi tension nahi lena, baadme jab bhi situation theek hoti hai tabhi waapis aana

Figure2: Campers are used only when they are sanitised properly
This shows how the franchisee treats his employees with humility as they are front liners and always ready to serve the community.  

The consumers have also agreed to receive campers on the alternate days and were satisfied with the decision.  

He shared “kitne log apne employees ko kaam se nikaal rahe hai, mai soch bhi nahi sakta ye cheeze kyonki isse insaan mentally bohot tut jaata hai. Maine shuruaat se abhi tak yahi bola hai, yaha raho araam se, kaam karo koi load nahi lena, aur yahi khaao piyo

He further narrates “chaaro ke liye maine shuruaat mai hi sanitsers, gloves aur masks ka arrangement kar diya tha taaki koi bhi sankramit na ho paaye. Humare kaam ki wajah se unki families affect nahi honi chahiye. Baaki cheeze aaj nahi toh kal theek ho jaengi, kaam bhi chalega, par abhi apne logo ka dhyan rakhna aur support karna jyada zaruri hai

He ends his conversation saying; “I am thankful that I have a home to stay and all basic facilities. 
By experiencing these situations in the last two months, I realised that we need to evolve mentally and display empathy towards others to deal with this pandemic which I believe can certainly reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection.”

Sarvajal Enterprises Management System showing total production- 50,990 litres and average daily production- 1,645 litres on a monthly basis.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Adopt a Village by HDFC Kheda, Madhya Pradesh
Story by Vaishali Sharma 

When the entire nation was lockdown, all our needs were going back to basics. The need of the hour was to get what was immediately available to the nearest. Hence the local market could easily suffice the need.

Similarly, think of it, if you have safe, affordable and accessible drinking facility at the nearest place then will you consider repairing your domestic RO machine when none of the servicemen is available to come to your home and do the needful. Even if it's is happening then how many of you are willing to pay a huge amount of maintenance charge during these tough situations? 

The same situation happened with many households at Kheda, Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the locations adopted by HDFC Life to provide safe drinking water facility to the villagers. These testing times, I happened to interact with our enthusiastic and young operator Vishal Patidar, Kheda location. 
He shared, “the village mainly consists of the Patidar community where the nearby households have RO water facility. Due to continuous lockdown, they were not getting any servicemen for the maintenance who could provide service at a decent rate. They were sceptical and felt unsafe to bring someone inside the house. Now it's been more than one month since many of them have switched to take water from our Sarvajal Kendra.” 

Figure 1: Sarvajal Kendra is regularly sanitised by the operator and consumers are maintaining social distancing.
It is so evident by his statements when we compare the monthly production data. And from the last month, there is a jump of 40% (Comparing March- 6501 litres and April- 9055 litres total production) which is indeed a sound response from the community. 

Figure 2: Sarvajal Enterprise Management System shows monthly data of April litre dispense
It shows that the access of domestic RO was there but people didn’t have a huge amount to pay for the maintenance. However, the villagers found Sarvajal services affordable and easily switched to our solution. Our operator 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. 

He kept going "logo mai ab ek respect wali bhavna hai ki unke gaon ke hit ke liye ye suvidha hai jo aas paas nahi hai.” It’s a matter of pride for them to have Sarvajal Kendra in their village whereas in the neighbouring village such a facility is not available. 

Because of the unavailability of servicemen, the charges also increased and our operator happened to calculate and compare a one-time service charge of Domestic RO with a yearly take-home price of Sarvajal. He shared "Mai toh sabhi ko ek hi baat bolta hu ek mahine ki servicing ke liye aap 2000 rupeeye doge, yaha Sarvajal ka paani poore saal ke liye bhi 2000 rupeeye jyada hai"  From his words, I realised how important it is to make our consumers understand the financial comparison and the overall benefits of it. 

One of the consumers, Ghanshyam Verma Ji now sends his kids to take water. Their home is half a km away from the plant. He shared “the little ones are just 8-10 years old. They come with their bicycle and feel comfortable to take water from our plant" says Vishal ji. 

In the end, he said "during such health crises, I am glad people are realising on their own and have started taking safe water. Now the consumers have taken for a month and I am sure they will continue to take the same. I would be reinforcing the positive impact among my customers so that they become consistent in taking safe water

While conversing with him I also got to know that the Gram panchayat has bought another card where they provide camper facility to the people who comes from outside and are quarantined for 14 days. They were concerned about the people as the raw water TDS is more than 1000 pmm which is not safe to have. 

This shows that people are now collectively taking care of their health consciously and choosing what is right at this point of time by considering safe and affordable choices in life. 
It says, “Water is the foremost cure and good medicine as well.

Figure 3 Consumers regularly cover their mouth and wash sanitise utensils before filling safe water

Monday, 15 June 2020

Hariawan, Uttar Pardesh
Story by Vaishali Sharma 

Making a lasting change in behaviour is rarely a simple process and usually requires self-commitment towards the effort and time we give. Each specific action for a better lifestyle is one step ahead for our change in behaviour. 

Here, I am going to talk about some actions taken by the community of Hariawan, Uttar Pradesh for the betterment of their overall health and life during the global pandemic of COVID-19. The community is adopted by DSCL Sugar (DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited) and partnered with Piramal Sarvajal to provide affordable, accessible and safe drinking water.  

I happened to interact with our location Operator Gaurav Ji to know the situations and visible changes in the past two months among the community members. 

Figure 1 Consumers are regularly sanitising utensils, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing

He shared that "the community has started taking precautions and solely taking responsibility to protect their self. Now, we don't have to look for anyone who is maintaining the precautionary measures and who is not. From social distancing to regular washing and sanitising hands and their utensils is all now ingrained among them." "Log ab apna bachaav khudh kar rahe hai. Sabme bohot badlaav aate hue dekha hai. Aur jo shruksha ke liye baate batai hai woh apne app kar rahe hai. Social distancing karna, hath dhona, bartan saaf karte rehna."

He continued, "We are blessed that our village has a mic facility which plays a major role during these difficult times. With the help of mic, we are consistently sharing that it is utmost important to regularly clean our surroundings, home and have safe water and food." "Saaf aur swach khana banaye, saaf paani ka hi sevan kare aur swayam ko bhi lagataar saaf rakhe toh bimaariyo se bachenge”

One of the customers Somendra Singh (30 years old) stays 2 km away from the plant, has made a card and now having water from our Sarvajal Kendra. The conditions have made many such individuals realise that to protect ourselves from this invisible virus it is important to have safe drinking water and keep up with a good level of immunity. 

He shared that from March, he has made 23 new RFID cards.  By listening to this, I happily replied and said that the improvement in the water off-take is increased by 84% (Comparing March- 9377 litres from April- 17179 litres of total production) 

Figure 2 Sarvajal Enterprise Management System showing total production and Avg. production per day

He continued telling "with the new cardholders I regularly take feedback regarding the taste of water and how they feel after taking it for a week." 

“While looking at their neighbours most of them have started taking water.” ("Apne aas paas ke logo ko dekhkar bhi logo ne saaf paani lena shuru kar diya hai")

Consumer Prabhat Mishra told him "Gaurav Ji Handpump ko to koi sanitize nahi karta toh kitna jyada risk waha se paani lena. Aap toh mera card banwa dijiye mai sarvajal se hi paani lunga. Ye saaf paani hai aur har waqt aap ise senitise bhi karte hai. Virus ab jaldi jaane se nahi raha tho apna bachaav kudh karke chalte hai" It is difficult to take water from the hand pump which is not sanitised and risky to take. This virus will not go easily, it is better we should all take care of ourselves. Sarvajal water facility is sanitised properly and is safe to have regularly. 

I had a very positive and engaging conversation with the operator, wished him good health before finishing the call. He reciprocated and gave me a nostalgic feeling "madam aap bhi social distancing rakhe, ghar ka khaana aur saaf paani peeye, bahar ka pizza nahi khaaega, delivery boys ko bhi virus lag raha hai ab toh mai rozana news padhta hu jabse corona felna shuru hua hai" 

Listening to him I realised how positively the community is taking action for their better lifestyle and protecting themselves from this virus. Let’s take inspiration from this community and take measures consciously for self and others. 

Let's build our actions in a positive direction by changing our behaviour for a better and enhanced living with safe and affordable services of Sarvajal 

Figure 3 Sanitising plant and community lanes regularly

Sunday, 7 June 2020

As India grinds to a halt with more than two months of a nationwide lockdown and lakhs of people from all walks of life stranded in different places wanting to go back to their families, facing monetary challenges and living alone often feel stuck and helpless. In this time of spiralling chaos and uncertainty, Jay Raval writes about the ground force – 2 Junior Field Engineers of Sarvajal who were at the field when the lockdown was announced. We have corona warriors or heroes in form of healthcare staff, policeman and others, but after going through these stories, let’s take a pause and thank these unsung heroes who were miles away from family and friends, adapting themselves in unfamiliar places, conforming to lockdown protocol with patience and peace.    

In such times of despair, when many find it difficult to look for a light at the end of the tunnel, there is someone who hasn’t lost hope. Sahdev Tandel, a 25-year-old, a young engineer looks forward to returning home, residing inside his hotel room in Bengaluru.  Working since 2015 with Sarvajal, Sahdev handles different locations in southern and western parts of the country. Sahdev from Billimora, Gujarat has been out from his home since March. On the 15th of March, 2020 he left from his place for Mysuru. A day before lockdown, when he arrived in Bengaluru from Mysore, he had plans to travel back. With the announcement of lockdown, his train booking got cancelled and he had to be in Bengaluru. Being confined at one place and not able to move out can sometimes be very stressful. But when asked about how he is feeling and whether there are any difficulties, Sahdev in an optimistic tone replies “Nani moti toh amuk vaar aavya kare”.  He further added that he got all the required support from Sarvajal, there were regular calls from HR and Operations team asking for his well –being and whether he needs something.

On being asked about his experience of being locked in a hotel room for the past two months he said “Initially it started to feel like he is locked up inside a jail, with very limited interactions with the hotel staff and calls from family”. Sahdev says his frequent field travel, was never an issue for him, but not been able at the field sometimes bother him, yet on a positive note, he ends that conversation by saying, “Can’t wait to get back to work and contribute towards fulfilling  Sarvajal’ s goals”. 

Ekanand Pathak, a junior field engineer working in Sarvajal for the past 6 years had to stay back in Udaipur, Rajasthan when the lockdown was announced. 

During the initial 8-9 days, he managed to find a hotel to stay in but the stay did not last long, because the hotel was shut for stay with all the staff leaving. He shifted to the second hotel where he stayed for a month. There also the hotel got shut as staff left. With temperatures soaring high in the desert state of Rajasthan, many nights Ekanand would sweat profusely in the hotel room with dysfunctional fan. Despite all this and his family members concerned about him, Ekanand continued to work, addressing operational issues, helping the plant operators through phone and video calls. There were times when he even thought about walking a distance of around 550 km. to reach his hometown Bharatpur, but Ekanand gave his thoughts and impatience a halt and waited for the situation to get better. 

His optimism didn’t fail even once and when the government eased the restrictions and started issuing passes for intrastate movement, with support from the organisation, Ekanand was able to get the pass and reach hometown safely on May 9th. As a safeguard protocol, he was home quarantined for a period of 14 days. Ekanand is now safe and reunited with his family and is thankful to on-field team and organisation including the Regional Manager, Neeraj and Territory Manager, Tarun, HR team who provided him immense support during this difficult period.

The above two stories are prime examples of optimism and patience and how it can help overcome even the most adverse of situations. These two brave heroes of Sarvajal have set up an example for each one of us to follow.