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July 2005 Newsletter
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A Basket For A Filter

The majority of villagers we work with are classified as the poorest of the poor, even 100 rp ($1.4) is too much for them to contribute toward a filter. A way of extending dignity to our families has been provided by asking the women of the household to contribute a basket for a filter.

Women have eagerly embraced our offer. This is a craft they've learned from an early age. The baskets in many districts are given to potential in laws to impress them.

The Nepali woman in the picture above is the mother of the three young boys standing nearby. During the health check part of our workshop, I found her boys with arsenicosis symptoms. I asked if they had a filter, they replied no, in fact their family name wasn't on the UNICEF list. After checking with the well owner we found that three families used the well, unfortunately the well was 100 ppb, the owner was given a filter but we missed the other two families using the well since they weren't listed. Thanks to our workshop we found them. Their mother and neighbor eagerly gave us baskets for filters. Now we always check to see how many households are using the well and provide filters to all the households.

The guy looking over my shoulder (Rajesh) asked one of the local women to teach me how to make a basket-bistari bistari (slowly). I'm learning!

At the end of the day we bicycled back to Parasi, in the lower picture Pramod has one of the baskets on his head while Raju steers the bike.

Aerial view of Mt. Everest by Kerem Barut / Download Wallpaper