Gift of Life for Little Ones

Cummins employees toiled to bring potable drinking water to the primary school at Deep Griha Society, Chaufula.

Background

Deep Griha Society (Marathi for 'Light House') was formed in Pune in 1975. Originally set-up as a Center for medical and health care for those residing in the slums of Pune, it has expanded over the years to work on various programs including health care, child care, education, women empowerment, youth empowerment and awareness on HIV / AIDS programs.

However, as there is no source of potable water, the region faces acute water shortage. The only available source is from bore-wells, which makes water practically inaccessible to the children of the primary school at Chaufula. Upon initial study, it was found that:

  • Children have to bring water from home or purchase it from shops
  • Only two storage tanks are available- first is the primary storage tank at ground level and another is placed at 10 feet above the ground level (capacity 10,000 litres)
  • Water can be made available through rainwater harvesting
  • No sufficient lighting in the school premises due to unavailability of electric power
  • The available genset runs for 2 hours/day
  • 1 HP pump to transfer water from the primary tank to above placed tank

To make water suitable for drinking for the children of the primary school, the system would need to meet certain criteria under IS:10500 standards:

  • The system had to be automated, with no manual operation
  • The system should produce continuous drinking water
  • Water should be available round-the-clock for 60 children, which may go up to 300
  • The system should be safe enough for children to use
  • Install a water purifier to make the water safe for drinking

Utilize solar energy, so that:

  • The purification system will work continuously
  • Sufficient drinking water would be available anytime
  • There is sufficient lighting at night, for safety

Approach and Effort

The idea was to make use of natural resources and create an environmentally-sustainable system that would work independently.

Consequently, it was decided that rain water harvesting would be the ideal approach to satisfactorily supply clean drinking water to the children.

The project involved two phases

  • In phase 1, RT&E implemented Rain Water Harvesting system at the Primary School to augment the ground water level.
  • In phase 2, Cummins provided sustainable source of drinking water to the children at the same English Medium School at Deep Griha.

The various stringent processes and numerous Six Sigma tools used in the planning of the project ensured smooth implementation. This project saw active participation of Cummins employees right from planning to the implementation stage. 11 Cummins employees spent a better part of their day in strategic planning for the project that also included building a small play area and planting trees.

Resulting Change

The Deep Griha project is yet another fine example of corporate responsibility. Children were delighted and the employees felt immense sense of satisfaction at having played a small part towards improving the lives of these children.

The highlights of the system are

  • Rain Water System has the potential of harnessing 1,42,000 litres of water every year. If not harvested, this water would have gone waste
  • Provision of 300 litres/day of potable water sufficient for 400 children, which at the moment is non-existent
  • Providing safe and filtered water, thereby eliminating probability of water-borne diseases
  • Long-term sustainable mechanism, as storage of water is made available through this project

Besides that, there is no additional burden of electricity on the environment as the water purification system runs on solar power. There is provision for the system to run on electricity, in case of an emergency. The system is self-sustaining and minimal effort is required to operate and maintain it. Most importantly, no chemicals are added to purify the water.

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