Water Sanitation in Rajasthan, India
Download our current e-book for Dev the Water Warrior here!
SC Project RISHI believes that the lack of education surrounding clean water in Rajasthan, India requires our immediate attention. Our mission is to address the lack of awareness about sources of clean water and purification methods among populations where education on the subject is at a low level, specifically children ages 7-15 in government-funded schools.
Our primary method of identifying that there is a lack of clean water for India’s population has been through researching statistics. To start, less than 50% of India’s population has access to safely managed drinking water. Moreover, school dropout rates in states with low water access and droughts have been 22% higher. While India houses 18% of the world’s population, it has only 4% of the global water resources. A shocking statistic states that water demand will exceed the available supply by 2030.
Hence, we needed to create a solution. Dev the Water Warrior is an informative book for children from ages 7-15 years, which incorporates Dev navigating situations to understand how crucial water sanitization and conservation is. The book covers the concepts of: diagnosing problems, contamination of water, water wastage, and taking action. The goal of our content is to be as engaging, captivating, and informative as possible, through the medium of text and visuals.
Although we have faced many challenges with implementing our recommendation to mass produce copies of the book in India, we are still working to make our vision a reality. In the meantime, our team is phasing into the childhood education initiative found on the RISHI Projects page.
Women's Health in Jamid, Jharkhand, India
Women's Empowerment, previously Women's Health, focuses on creating sustainable project initiatives and developing these projects in India to help combat gender inequality within the nation. Globally, regardless of country, we see that women are affected by the institution of patriarchy, which prevents women from having access to their full potential. It is amazing how much a country can flourish if only their women are given the same opportunities as men. Thus, the Women's Empowerment team in SC Project RISHI focuses on two main projects: menstrual product access and single mother empowerment.
Our first project that began years ago in SC Project RISHI was an initiative to improve access to menstrual products in Jamid, a rural village in Jharkhand, India. Due to the taboo surrounding menstruation in India, many women, specifically in remote villages, do not have access to hygienic menstrual products or proper period education. With the help of the reusable pad company, Eco Femme, we were able to secure 35 of their reusable pads for the women in Jamid. We also made various educational videos in Hindi regarding healthy menstrual practices and how to use the Eco Femme pad. For the USC student body, we held a screening of the Oscar Winning Netflix documentary, The Pad Project, and invited various speakers to discuss menstrual equity. This project is nearing completion, with the last step being distributing the pads to the women in Jamid and setting up a screening of the menstrual education videos.
This year, we have begun a new project that focuses on supporting and empowering single mothers. The stigma surrounding being a single mother in India can often lead to a lack of support systems for these incredible women making their lives even more challenging. We are planning to assemble care packages with numerous items for both single mothers and their child(ren) complete with an inspirational/informational calendar. While our project primarily focuses on single mothers in India, we will also be launching a pilot program for the care packages (prior to our India launch) for single mothers right here in the Los Angeles community.
Ultimately, our goal as a team is to incorporate sustainable projects in India, so Indian women can continue to combat the taboos and stigmas they face daily. It is an honor that we, as college students in Southern California, are given this opportunity to work with these phenomenal women in India, and, as a result, these women end up empowering us as well.
Anemia in Jamid, Jharkhand, India
One of Project RISHI’S initiative that recently reached gained success was the Anemia Initiative. The main goal of this project was to improve the health, specially improve the iron levels of young women, in a village called Jamid in North India. Project RISHI worked closely with an NGO called EKAL to finalize on our solution: purchase and supply Lucky Shakthi Leaves for a certain amount of women to improve their iron count.
The Lucky Shakthi Leaf is essentially a leaf shaped supplement that is made out of cast iron. This can be used in boiling liquid such as water, sambar, dhal, etc. While the leaf is in the water, it releases iron and it doesn’t release any odor or extra taste.
This past year, Team Anemia was able to purchase Lucky Shakthi Leaves and distribute them to multiple women in Jamid and also conduct blood tests before and after they use the leaves. The team saw an increase in their iron levels after using the leaves for three months, which indicated our beta testing period has been successful.
We are planning to expand to Gujarat but the logistics of that expansion is yet to be discussed. Our team is currently phasing into a new water sanitation project, as well.
Trip to Jamid, Jharkhand, India
During our initial trip the summer of 2019, our main priority was to understand the villages in and around Karanjo by meeting people from several demographics and discussing their day-to-day lifestyles. The goal of Project RISHI on this trip was to facilitate focus groups and different activities to increase our familiarity with teachers, town leaders, farmers, and students.
To further this cause, children were provided with smartphones to document pictures, videos, etc. to share unique perspectives on their lives. Lastly, one major program that we tested was an offline education initiative that provides basic diagnostic testing to students in the village, providing Ekal Vidyalaya important data on what subject areas students are most proficient in versus what topics may require further instruction. After actively observing and learning about the culture of Karanjo’s people, we hope to utilize our newfound knowledge to ideate initiatives aimed at bettering their quality of life.
Read more about these initiatives on our Blogs page.
Read our equity statement below regarding our partnership with Ekal Vidyalaya.
The RISHI Review
The RISHI Review was founded to encourage members to enact real progressive policy change at the rural, regional, state, and national levels in India. By addressing key developmental disparities, policy analysts of the RISHI Review research proven solutions developed by social enterprises and ideate frameworks for a policy change. Our policy analysts hope to use this platform to create a positive impact by effectively bringing these affordable solutions to our partnering villagers and igniting sustainable change. All policies were submitted to the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C.
The latest edition advocates for employment opportunities in India for persons with disabilities. Additionally, proposes solar cookers as the zero-emission household solution to combat the pollutants affecting our planet.
Editor-in-Chief: Suhas Peela
No. 1 of this volume discusses integrating an anemia table into village diet to combat iron deficiency and also art therapy in schools to combat mental health. No. 2 was written amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and researches solutions for misinformation, better transport for migrant workers, and homelessness.
Editor-in-Chief: Manushri Desai
The founding edition proposes researched solutions for expanding access to diabetes-centered health care in rural India, establishing a renewable source of water, increasing equality within the Haryana community, and improving disability rights in LDCs through USAID transparency.
Editor-in-Chief: Manushri Desai
Trip to Naga Valadia, Gujarat, India
In the village of Naga Valadia, it was determined that there was an issue concerning the use of tobacco. In Summer 2016, a tobacco de-addiction initiative was launched with people in the village who expressed the desire to quit in a pilot study, and then expanded to other villagers. Mechanisms of checking in and reminding the villagers to use tobacco alternatives were put in place in Summer 2017. Following this, in Winter 2017, a tobacco prevention VRI was implemented with the schoolchildren, to educate them about the dangers and health issues that tobacco can cause.
Additionally, RISHI organized a dental camp to provide check-ups. Every individual was given a dental kit in which a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss were provided along with an explanation of how to properly use the products. There were dentists on site who examined the villagers. Over the course of two days, 217 people were seen and 4 extractions were provided.