As a little kid, I consistently anticipation of India as aloof addition country. Aloof addition abode area bodies lived, aloof like the United States. As I grew up and abstruse added about the apple we alive in, I aloof this angle of India in my head. In academy we abstruse about the malnutrition in Africa and the communicable diseases of South America, but, for some reason, I consistently anticipation of India as aloof addition country. It took me 13 years until I abstruse that India was far from “just addition country.”
I am a 17-year-old Indian American boy, built-in in the U.S. Midwest and aloft in the abundant burghal of Des Moines, Iowa. Today, I appetite to acquaint a adventure about my accord with India.
One day, my sister Nithya and I were sitting at the banquet table with our parents back they started talking about the growing altruistic problems of India. Namely, the aridity in rural India and how it acutely hindered the apprenticeship of schoolchildren. At the time, my sister was nine years old and I was 13.
This abashed both of us—our acumen of India was shattered. I visited India assorted times as a adolescent child, but I alone visited ancestors in the large, gentrified cities.
These cities were far from adumbrative of the rural majority of India. In America, we are accomplished that apprenticeship is an unalienable right, but in rural India the bearings proves actual different. Schools action little to no apple-pie bubbler baptize to the students. We wondered how these schoolchildren could possibly appear a academy after aliment as simple as bubbler baptize or active baptize in the toilets. The schoolchildren run home from academy for apple-pie bubbler baptize aboriginal in the day and do not return.
Schoolgirls accept it alike worse—during puberty, they are afflictive application bedraggled bathrooms that don’t alike accept appropriately activity toilets. They additionally go home for the day. Tardiness and absence are accepted problems in rural Indian schools. Acceptance bead out, and after an apprenticeship they cannot assignment accomplished jobs back they are older; instead, they are affected to advice their parents out with arduous fieldwork and abode chores. They get affiliated actual adolescent and the aeon continues with their children. Their futures are anchored afore they alike apperceive it. The accouchement are acute and acquisitive to apprentice but their affairs don’t facilitate apprenticeship so abundant as survival.
I decided, again and there, that I capital to do article about the problem. My sister, who had tears in her eyes at the time, empathized with the problems of the rural Indian schoolgirls. I told her that we should accumulate some money to accord to the schoolchildren, and in the blink of an eye she was continuing in advanced of me with a five-dollar bill that she brought from her back bank.
I knew that we would charge added than bristles dollars to accomplish an impact, so I accomplished out to as abounding people—family friends, relatives, parents’ colleagues—as I could, assured that they would admit the severity of the cause. After weeks of fundraising, I accumulated $3,000 in donations: absolutely abundant to accomplish an impact.
I accomplished out to a ancestors friend, Jay Sehgal, who I knew formed for a nonprofit organization. He affiliated me with his organization, Sehgal Foundation, that works to empower rural India. They akin the $3,000 I had calm 1-to-1, bringing the absolute sum of funds to $6,000: abundant to assemble one rainwater agriculture arrangement in one rural Indian school. This would accommodate apple-pie bubbler baptize and activity toilets for about 300 Indian schoolchildren. I knew that it wasn’t abundant to transform India, but I acquainted blessed alive that at atomic some accouchement were accepting apple-pie bubbler baptize at school. I knew that it would advance their appearance and ultimately advance to a bigger education. It was a start.
I again the aforementioned exact action the abutting three years. Three added rainwater agriculture systems in three added rural Indian schools. In total, I was able to accession over $24,000, and added than 1,500 acceptance now account from the acceptable donations of bodies who affliction acutely about convalescent the apprenticeship and bloom of underprivileged children.
I anticipation I was authoritative a big aberration until I catholic to India with my mother, grandmother, and sister—only to acquisition out that the money I’d aloft wasn’t alike close to enough. I was advantageous abundant to be able to see my projects in person, and I was athrill to see the aberration I had fabricated so far. Back I catholic to the academy in a baby apple called Lafuri (the academy area my aboriginal activity was implemented four years ago), I was charmed to see how able-bodied the baptize arrangement was maintained. I could see that the association absolutely cared about convalescent the apprenticeship of the students.
I drank from the baptize tank, and I was blessed to aftertaste baptize as apple-pie as bottled water. I additionally had a adventitious to alcohol from the old baptize pump the academy acclimated afore the rainwater agriculture system
was implemented. This baptize tasted terrible. It was as acrid as ocean water.
And back I anticipation I was assuredly alpha to accept the altitude these schoolchildren approved to apprentice in, I begin out that the botheration wasn’t a abridgement of water; rather, it was an affluence of dehydrating acrid groundwater that these accouchement were affected to drink.
When I catholic to the added schools area my projects had been implemented, I begin the aforementioned botheration with the saltwater. A advantageous bulk of sodium in bubbler water is beneath 200 genitalia per million, and these accouchement were bubbler groundwater with levels exceeding 10,000 ppm. It was eye-opening, to say the actual least.
If added bodies actuality in the United States could physically experience the altitude that the schoolchildren of rural India are affected to alive and apprentice in accustomed like I had the chance to, I apperceive that they would be instantly accountable to accord to such an important cause.
After abiding to the United States, I adapted my action into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Baptize for Success Foundation, authoritative it easier for bodies to acquisition out about and accord to the cause. We assignment with the Sehgal Foundation, who bout our funds and apparatus our projects.
Please analysis our website at www.waterforsuccess.org and Sehgal Foundation’s at www.smsfoundation.org. My ambition is to absorb as abounding bodies as possible, both adolescent and old. That way we can accommodate India’s rural schoolchildren with the apprenticeship they deserve. Maybe hopefully—one day we will accomplish India aloof addition country.
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