Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Have You Ever Hauled Any Water?

"If Newton never told anybody about the law of gravity, if Edison would have only lit his own house, the world would have remained untouched by their brilliant ideas and minds. Powerful ideas of today are the true investments for a better tomorrow. Last December, we had partnered with the TEDxGateway Mumbai with this very belief."

When I read this on indiblogger.in I knew I had to watch the videos and the first one that I saw was so amazing I finally thought about writing it.

I watched a video by Cynthiya Koenig where she talks about a problem faced by many rural women in India - water hauling. Yes, something we as urban dwellers don't think about much but a problem Indian women across the country face when they have to provide for a basic necessity - water!

1 out of every 6 women have to haul litres of water on their head which leads to chronic ailments and what amazed me was that these women were spending a huge amount of their precious time doing just that - hauling water so that their family could have water to drink, cook, bathe, and even wash hands with.

According to the officials "The time spent fulfilling this basic need keeps many children out of school and prevents women from carrying out all the domestic and income generating work for which they are responsible. In much of the developing world, it is often necessary to walk five miles (8km) or more every day to fetch water. In the dry season, it is not uncommon to walk twice this distance. Collecting water can be dangerous too. The traditional method of carrying water – carrying a 5 gallon (20 liter) water bucket on the head – can severely damage the spine, causing severe pain and even leading to complications during childbirth. In some countries, walking to find water exposes people to the dangers of land mines."

The innovation that Cynthiya talks about is superb - a simply barrel with a handle to haul it. A small idea which has the capability of a life changing impact for these women. They no longer need to stand the burden of so much water every single day - and they get more hygienic water which helps them improve their overall health condition as well. This innovative product is called the Wello Water Wheel.

"Wello is a social venture with a bold mission: to effectively deliver clean water to a thirsty world"
Wello Water Wheel
Wello Water Wheel (image source: http://wellowater.org/the-waterwheel/)

The Wello Water Wheel has many benefits:
Women spend over 25% of their time each day collecting water. With the WaterWheel, they can now transport 50L at once – between 3 and 5 times the amount of water possible as compared to traditional methods: this means MORE water in less time!
The WaterWheel’s cap-in-cap design prevents recontamination at the point of use. The single most effective strategy to reduce incidents of diarrheal disease (the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5, according to the WHO)
The WaterWheel is manufactured from high-quality, human-safe plastics. It’s a smart investment: long lasting and is durable enough to handle the roughest terrain.
The WaterWheel’s form was inspired by the shape of the traditional matka – both aesthetically pleasing and a clear indication of the WaterWheel’s intended purpose (clean water!).
In recognition of the fact that the people who need the WaterWheel the most have the least ability to pay for it, we developed an innovative business model that will enable us to offer the WaterWheel at an affordable price. Local manufacturing (in Ahmedabad, India) and CSR partnerships help us keep costs as low as possible."
You can check out the video where Cynthiya gives details on this issue and shows a live demo of the Wello Water Wheel!

Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012


  1. I like to hear about people from all over and it seems to go in parings, like I might hear something good that helps out in a humanitarian way and then I hear something bad or just sad. You blog borders on the sad. The good thing though was the website that I found out today about a humanitarian effort to change the status quo, to give people the chance to change their circumstances. http://www.kiva.org. Anyone can help out and I like that while I need it for myself, I can also give back as well in such an easy way. Check it out-There are flaws with it but it is a beginning place, which I think is important for all of us.
    Thanks for the article though, I enjoyed reading (most of it).

  2. If poor too get easy access to Wello, it will indeed impact their lives positively and tremendously. Great concept!

    1. Yes Indrani, there are people trying to spread this out through the villages of India