Overseas Volunteers for A Better India (OVBI) is holding its annual fundraising event on September 15, 2019 with an immediate goal to eliminate water poverty in 500 villages in India by 2020. The event will educate and inform the public on the severity of the crisis, as well as share the successes that OVBI has had in tackling the problem in rural India. 500 supporters are expected to attend.
Leading subject matter experts and executives including Raju Reddy, former CEO of Sierra Atlantic and Rathi Murthy, CTO of Gap will share their thoughts on how non-governmental organizations, such as OVBI, are shining a light and making a significant impact on this critical issue.
Currently, 54% of India faces extremely high water stress. Women have to walk miles to procure water, farmers live in deep financial distress, and major cities such as Chennai are running out of water. The UN has warned of civil unrest if urgent steps are not taken to address this problem.
Over the last three years, OVBI has been working on a war footing to avert this national crisis. In 2019, partnering closely with government bodies, ex-ISRO scientists, NGOs and local communities, OVBI will complete projects to eliminate water poverty in 105 drought-stricken villages across the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. The interventions include construction of micro recharge structures, de-silting of waterways, and building check dams to allow water to percolate and refresh underground aquifers.
“We started with just one village in 2017 with a significant initial investment of $70 thousand. Subsequently, our ability to engage with local partners including ex-ISRO scientists, and leverage government and CSR funds, enabled us to significantly increase our operational efficiency and thus have an outsized impact. Therefore, we have been able to scale rapidly to now positively impact 105 villages, with an average investment of about $1500 per village of 2000 residents”, says Mohan Trikha, Chairman of OVBI.
These water infrastructure projects have created 1.6 billion gallons of additional water capacity and positively impacted over 160 thousand rural villagers. Building on this strong foundation, OVBI is on an urgent race to Eliminate Water Poverty in 500 villages next year and then 5000 villages by 2023.
“While the immediate charter for OVBI is to increase water capacity, this alone is not enough to completely solve the problem. In order to ensure a permanent solution, we have to increase greenery as well as create economic incentives for farmers to grow crops with lower water needs”, says Satej Chaudhary, President of OVBI.
“Our vision is to completely transform India from a state of Water Poverty to Water Plenty by 2030. You can eliminate water poverty in a village with a gift of $1500. We encourage civic minded citizens to adopt one or more villages, so we can reverese this vicious cycle”, says BV Jagadeesh, Co-Chairman, OVBI.
Event details: Sunday Sep 15, 5:30pm. India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas, CA. For more information or to donate visit – http://eliminatingwaterpoverty.org/ or contact [email protected]