Water, Hope, and Empowerment: How a Village Transformed Lives and Dreams


With the burden of water collection lifted, families could allocate their time more efficiently, enabling them to engage in income-generating activities and improving their overall quality of life.

With the burden of water collection lifted, families could allocate their time more efficiently, enabling them to engage in income-generating activities and improving their overall quality of life.

Living her entire life in a remote tribal village, in Patna, Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, Sunita Kumari, 36, did not have access to basic facilities that adversely impacted her life.

Every mother dreams of providing the warmth of a secure home and a nurturing learning environment for her children, but for Sunita, the reality was starkly different. Living her entire life in a remote tribal village, in Patna, Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, Sunita Kumari, 36, did not have access to basic facilities that adversely impacted her life. Now, her 11-year-old daughter, Sapna, also faces the same future.

Sunita is from an economically marginalized family. Despite her humble beginnings, she aspired for a better life after marriage. However, her dreams were shattered when her husband died at an early age, leaving her to fend for their children. Tragedy continued to strike as she lost her elder son in a terrible accident. Without any anchor now, the family struggled to make ends meet.

The entire burden of running the household was on Sunita’s shoulders. She had no choice but to leave her young daughter alone at home, traveling six kilometers every day to bring water. This meant that little Sapna had to cook, do the laundry, clean the home, and partake in other household chores preventing her from pursuing her education despite being a bright student. Sunita always knew her daughter Sapna was interested in attending school, but the household situation led her to take on tough responsibilities.

Finally, hundreds of families like that of Sunita’s and Sapna’s could breathe a sigh of relief as Anandana—The Coca-Cola India Foundation, alongside Haritika, took on the crucial task of replenishing water in the village.  This access to water liberated the villagers from the relentless cycle of water scarcity, allowing them to pursue other interests or jobs, including education and livelihood opportunities. Sunita never had to step out of the house again to fetch water and could take care of the household duties, while her daughter went to school. “A big tank has been constructed in our village through which I am getting tap water in my house. Now my mother and sister-in-law do not need to go out to fetch water and we can divide work among us. At last, I can go to school and pursue my dreams,” said Sapna with a gleeful smile.

As part of the brand’s #SheTheDifference campaign, aimed at empowering women, many have benefited positively, gaining newfound self-reliance and financial independence.

The water replenishment initiatives in the village proved transformative, not just for Sunita and Sapna, but for the entire community. The installation of a substantial water tank improved the laborious task of water collection that previously consumed much of the villagers’ time and energy.

Water, a fundamental necessity for life, was no longer a barrier but a catalyst for progress. With the burden of water collection lifted, families could allocate their time more efficiently, enabling them to engage in income-generating activities and improving their overall quality of life.

Moreover, the impact extended beyond practicalities to societal norms. Witnessing the positive changes brought about by the water initiatives, young boys in the village took up the household responsibilities previously considered the domain of women, challenging entrenched gender stereotypes. This shift not only empowered women like Sunita to dream of a brighter future but also fostered a more equitable and inclusive community.



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