In India, women do not make up a large part of the workforce. They make up only 26% of the workforce, and they contribute 17% to the gross domestic product of the Country.
Because of this, their contribution to the Indian economy is little, compared to the contribution by men.
However, it is a known fact that women play a greater role at home, especially when it comes to ensuring that the family enjoys well-prepared meals, washed down with clean and safe drinking water.
In order to obtain clean and safe drinking water, most women, especially in the rural areas, have to go miles, on a daily basis, to obtain water. Thus, a lack of this basic amenity affects women the most.
To curb this problem, the need for small water enterprises which provide clean, and safe drinking water, arose.
In view of this, the Safe Water Network India (SWNI) programme was initiated. This non-profit programme provides a platform for women to become water entrepreneurs.
Small water enterprises (SWEs), that are constituted to provide safe drinking water, can free women from collecting water and thus free them so that they can focus and pursue education and employment opportunities, according to the report.
The pilot programme carried out by the SWNI’s iJal Women’s Empowerment Programme in Medak district of Telangana, promoted female entrepreneurship. District self-help groups (SHGs) were expanded and linked to a new source of income. And the community was provided with access to safe, reliable, and affordable water supply.
The Safe Water Network India (SWNI), along with USAID, authored and released a Report at the World Water Week organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute in the Swedish Capital on 29th August 2019.
The report clearly highlighted the success of the SWNI’s iJal Women’s Empowerment Programme carried out in the Medak district of Telangana.
According to the report, within 14 months of the program, the SWNI had successfully created 49 self-help groups, which were actively managing stations in SWNI’s operation in Medak. The water stations were providing safe water to over 1.5 lakh people.
Many women have been empowered to become water entrepreneurs, rather than water carriers. Thus, through this programme, women have been given the opportunity and capacity to be actively involved in the iJal value chain.