I want you to share the joy that I have for giving water. One of my favorite things about giving water, is the effect that it has on the value of women in rural Indian society.
When it comes to gender equality, India is actually very progressive. Check out this Wikipedia article. The current President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil is a woman, and they even have a “Women’s Reservation Bill” which guarantees women the right to at least 33% of all seats in parliament.
Unfortunately, this enthusiasm for women’s equality in legislature is not matched in rural areas where traditional values take precedence over the unenforced national laws. Female infanticide (killing baby girls), female illiteracy and gender bias and abuse are the norm for many parts of rural India.
The fact that a woman’s primary role is water-fetching doesn’t help. When we provide wells to these villages, we free up women’s time and allow them to seek other opportunities.
Instead of fetching water, young women can attend school and learn to read. Adult women can engage in some sort of craft or trade and begin contributing monetarily to their family’s needs.
Once women are literate, it’s much more likely that they’ll be aware of the protections they’re entitled to and the recourse available to them, and be able to articulate to their husbands, brother and fathers what treatment they deserve. When they have time to participate in local politics they can begin exercising the rights their constitution grants them.
When women physically control a portion of the family’s income they now have the ability to influence their family’s spending and leave when threatened with abuse.
One of the fantastic things about drilling wells with Cornerstone Ministries and Pastor A. Stephen is that he understands the whole picture. Not only does he provide water, but he also has a seamstress school with dormitories where young women can learn to apply their new-found time to a profitable micro-enterprise, as well as other programs.
His wonderful wife Queeny, who is also an Indian, is an important part of his ministry and it shows.
Cornerstone Ministries also operates a home for girls. Mostly between 5 and 7 years old, many of these are girls were nearly victims of female infanticide that Pastor Stephen and Queeny have saved. Drilling wells provides an in-road for compassion and understanding to Hindu families who would rather see their children die than grow up in a Christian home.
I am so happy that we can be a provide water for families in India. It’s about so much more than clean water and longer lives and more free time, access to water is the very foundation of human community and it’s such an honor to play even a small role in that.
Please partner with us and consider making a donation today. We can drill a well for $2,500 to $5,000 that will effect the lives of hundreds of families and provide permanent opportunities for hundreds of women to grow past abuse and create a new value for themselves.