WaterHealth India launches Jaldhaara Foundation

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | January 07, 2014 15:53 IST

WaterHealth India (WHIN), launched the Jaldhaara Foundation today, with the inauguration of the WaterHealth Center (community water system) at Janawada, Hyderabad.

“Jaldhaara aims to connect social awareness programs with the provision of safe drinking water to underserved communities and schools. The foundation will raise funds to support the programs that will bring about a transformation in the underserved communities, empower women and help school children maintain good health. We are pleased to have received donations from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Allied Trusts, 65 U.S. philanthropists including Jon Cryer, John H Williams and Ambassador Richard Celeste, and the support from Apollo Hospitals, Godrej Industries and Taj Hotels”, said Jacqueline Lundquist, Chief Serendipity Officer, WaterHealth International.

Jaldhaara Foundation – A Transformational Initiative
Jaldhaara Foundation is a not for profit organization that aims to design and implement social programs that promote safe water awareness, availability and consumption and transform hygiene practices in underserved communities in India by focusing on women and children.

Jaldhaara Foundation (JF) programs aim to create a transformational behavioral change in these communities by focusing on women and children in its programs for communicating the connection between consumption of safe water, hygiene practices and health outcomes. Too often these programs are conducted in isolation leading to an awareness of the benefits of safe water where there is none available and vice versa.

The JF will create awareness and spread the significance of safe drinking water and work with partners on the provision of infrastructure (water facilities) to provide clean and safe drinking water for underserved communities. At the center of its activities will be its focus on training women to run the WaterHealth Centers thereby creating employment and empowering them and conducting programs that ensure that school children in the communities served receive clean and safe drinking water. For example: The Water for Schools initiative being launched by Jaldhaara will provide clean drinking water to close to a million school children that are within a few kilometers of WaterHealth India’s existing portfolio, within the next 2-3 years. 

All Round Support:
Jaldhaara has received strong support from leaders in entertainment, business and industry. Present at the launch were Hollywood celebrities including Emmy award winning actor, Jon Cryer (Lead, 2 ½ Men); talk show host, Lisa Joyner; Tony award winning playwright, Gretchen Cryer; award winning producer, John H. Williams (Shrek); Ambassador Richard Celeste (U.S. Ambassador to India from 1997 to 2001) & his wife Jacqueline Lundquist; and NPR and McNeil-Lehrer News Hour contributor, Lee Cullum.  Indian film fraternity that showed their support to the event and present at the launch ceremony were Gulshan Grover, Jackie Shroff and Dia Mirza. The U.S. Ambassador to India, Ms. Nancy J. Powell and Commerce Minister Mr. Anand Sharma were the chief guests at the ceremony held at Janawada on 3rd January 2014. 

The Water Crisis: 
3.57 million People die from a water related disease each year; lack of sanitation is the world’s leading cause of infection; diarrheal disease is the leading cause of child mortality and morbidity in the world. Solutions for safe water and hygiene practices exist. The problem is that these solutions are not widely implemented in societies that need them most and that these communities do not have access to safe water. Within these communities, people consistently drink water from contaminated sources even when purified water exists at affordable prices, and defecate openly even when constructing a toilet is possible. Age-old practices and generations of exclusion lead to such behaviors, exposing communities to illnesses such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, and parasitic infections that are otherwise easily preventable. The link between health, the quality of water being consumed and the importance of safe hygiene is missing. The challenge Jaldhaara confronts is to educate people about the need to pursue safer and healthier practices and provide them with access to safe, clean drinking water.