India is facing new kinds of drinking water problems with growing dependence on groundwater and changing landscapes of agricultural and industrial pollution. Beyond microbial problems of drinking water, problems like Fluorosis, Arsenicosis and nitrate contamination are threatening our drinking water sources. These are complex problems that interact with nutritional and healthcare issues – especially in the child and maternal health context.
|Water Quality Awareness session in a school|
While visiting affected habitations in Kolar and Chikballapur districts helped us understand such complexity associated with Fluorosis. I and my Colleague Shreyas S put down our observations in the field which gave us an inspiration to develop a program for Fluorosis Mitigation in affected districts in Karnataka. The basis of the program is that Fluorosis is not a standalone problem, but a result of multiple factors. Hence, a plan to mitigate Fluorosis should be integrated rather than sectoral. Understanding the problem and evolving simple solutions, that the communities can be empowered to seek, adopt and adapt will be vital. The Program is being conceived and developed during the phase of the Fluoride Fellowship with our advisors, mentors and incubators- Biome, The Fluoride Knowledge and Action Network (FKAN) and INREM Foundation, which is the secretariat of FKAN.
To seek support for the program, we had applied with Wipro- one of the leading tech firm in the country. We are glad to inform that we have won the Wipro Sustainability Seeding Fellowship 2017. The Fellowship is for the duration of two years. This is our small step in building the program. We are currently pitching the idea of the program with other potential funders to support other components of the program.
Kiran Kumar Sen,
Wipro Sustainability Seeding Fellow