Transforming Lives with Safe Water
March 23, 2017
Nearly 100 million people in India lack access to safe water.
On World Water Day, with the non-profit Safe Water Network India (SWN), Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative, launched the first “Water ATM” in Telangana. This facility functions like an automated teller machine (ATM), except it dispenses clean drinking water instead of cash.
This initiative, when completed, will enable local populations to purchase 20 liters of safe drinking water at any time of the day by swiping their smart cards against the Water ATM for a minimal charge. The stations are connected via cloud-based technology and some of them run on solar energy, thereby reducing operating costs.
According to Ravi Sewak, Country Director, SWN, “The next step is to move towards digital payments, enabling cashless transactions at the water stations. To begin with, we have collaborated with Medak District to conduct awareness workshops on the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) mobile app.”
In the run up to World Water Day, SWN conducted awareness camps in and around its safe water stations in Medak.
By charging the bare minimum of five rupees (about $0.08), SWN is able to ensure that the Water ATM dispenses clean drinking water and provides employment to the staff and local communities who manage these water stations. The drive was supported by SWN and volunteers from Honeywell India, which funds these safe water stations under its corporate social responsibility program.
Vikas Chadha, President, Honeywell India, said, “Through our partnership with SWN, we are providing safe water access to more than two lakh people in Telangana. Honeywell is deeply invested in the region, and our employees are proud to volunteer and continue to add value to the program.
SWN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing affordable and sustainable access to safe water for those who need it most. It applies a business approach to social problems by developing locally-owned water businesses for those beyond the reach of large infrastructure projects.