Publishers Note: This is an ongoing series from Sourish Jasti
Sourish Jasti, reporting from Nellipaka, India.
This summer, I am travelling across Southern India and helping over 2,000 students get clean drinking water. Working through the Jasti Clean Water Initiative, I am providing clean drinking water to schools and communities.
A brief explanation about Govt. Schools
Unlike in the US, government schools (known as public schools in the states) are in extremely poor conditions and get little to no funding from the state. Almost all government schools lack the “standards” of American schools: air conditioning, fans, cleanliness, books/learning resources, and in some cases clean water.
The schools are all located in the village of Nellipaka which is a rural community of farmers. My journey from Khammam to Nellipaka was a 3 hour drive across 130 km (81 miles) filled with sights of cows, dogs, and monkeys scattered across the roads.
State: Andhra Pradesh
About The Nellipaka Schools
I was referred to both of these schools by a resident of Holmdel who heard about my project and wanted to help his home village. While in Nellipaka, I met his family and would like to give my sincere thanks to them for helping me in my endeavors and for their dedication to their community.
The high school ZPHS Nellipaka Banjara had 95 students and 7 staff members. The administration, led by Mr. Bollu Ilaihah, enforces the Andhra Pradesh state curriculum. Students attending both of the schools face many problems and hardships. Because Nellipaka is a very rural farming village, most of the children have to walk a total 10+ km each day from home to school. ZPHS Nellipaka Banjara also does not have a compound wall (a border) and is surrounded by all sides by different properties, leaving the school squished in its small and confined space.
The other school near Nellipaka, Zilla Parishat Unnatha Paatasaala, has a total of 391 students and a small staff to teach the state curriculum. In my conversations with the students and teachers, I learned that teachers for government schools are few and far between. The school has just one English teacher for the students and also lacks teachers in some sciences such as a biology.
What is JCWI?
JCWI (Jasti Clean Water Initiative) is an organization that strives to help provide access to clean water to underprivileged schools and communities in India.
Growing up in an Indian family and visiting India numerous times led me to be very aware of the lack of clean drinking water. What I saw led me to contribute to water purification research during the 2018-2019 school year, which won me $725 in research scholarships. Through JCWI, I hope to provide clean water for communities that cannot afford it on their own.
I finished my first fundraiser for JCWI in June and raised over $2000 from people in India and the Holmdel community.
For more information about JCWI, check out our website: https://www.jcwi.org/