BAIF Institute for Rural Development
Fluorosis, a crippling disease, is fast spreading across the world and is endemic in at least 25 countries across the globe. The total number of people affected is not known, but a conservative estimate would number in tens of millions. Nearly 90 million people including 6 million children in the country in 200 districts in 15 states are affected with dental, skeletal and/or non-skeletal fluorosis. People become affected with fluorosis when they consume water with high fluoride content i.e. more than 1.5mg/litre.
Roof top rain water harvesting is successfully introduced as an innovation to address the issue of fluoride in water in the areas of Sira, Pavgada and Madhugiri from Tumkuru and Mundargi in the district of Gadag, in Karnataka. The programme has been innovative in designing an underground water tank inside the kitchen or near the house, enabling the households to store water without any contamination. This project has brought relief to thousands of villagers suffering from fluorosis. The significant reduction in dental and muscular fluorosis was seen as an outcome of such intervention. The idea mainly helped children and women as they suffer the most. An Impact assessment study revealed that there has been 49% reduction in hospital visits and 47% reduction in monthly hospitalisation expenses.
Scalability and Impact:
It was started with a few households in the beginning on a trial basis and after many experiments it has been standardized. Till date this intervention has been successfully introduced in over 7000 fluoride affected households in the state of Karnataka. It is proposed to introduce this innovative intervention along with required social engineering and thereby help the affected communities of around 500 households over the next 2-3 years.
Awards and Recognition:
Support was extended by corporates like HSBC and BOSCH. This support was useful in reaching up to 7000 households in initial phase of this innovative program.