Without Water– Raja’s Story
As told by Kaytie Fiedler, India Partners’ Regional Representative
The heat was too much for him, this boy in a brightly striped shirt. I kept an eye on him as his eyes began to roll back into his head. He looked so ill, so frail, as he bravely stood in line to see a doctor. I glanced back at my work, handing out de-worming medicines, and THUD! I looked back where the boy had been standing and there was a gap in the line.
Raja was 12, his open shirt revealed the clear outline of his rib cage. I pinched the back of his hand and confirmed my suspicion that he was extremely dehydrated. Our medical team anguished over mixing rehydration salts with the village’s water. Each aluminum vessel they brought seemed to be darker in color than the last. But it was all they had.
It took another 30 minutes before Raja could sit up again. I found a plastic chair, propped him up and encouraged him to slowly sip until the whole liter was gone.
After a conversation with his father (through an interpreter) about the importance of drinking water, I felt like I was beginning to understand. I learned that they both worked in a rice paddy not too far from the village. Their water source was a pond. They knew nothing of staying hydrated. In fact they had been told that drinking water makes you lazy and unable to work. We quickly started an impromptu workshop for those waiting in line about how to make clean water and how much to drink each day.
Afterwards the interpreter said that these people were very thankful for the information. One grateful villager commented that if people were willing to travel half way around the world to share this message, they ought to pay attention.
Sadly, most of what we saw in the medical camp that day could have been prevented with simple sanitation and clean water knowledge.
The World Bank estimates that 21% of all communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe drinking water. Ignorance kills. Working with you, India Partners is striving to bring profoundly simple, yet simply profound information to those whose lives are at risk.
Raja and his father are armed with life-saving knowledge because people like you know how to make a difference in the world.
…And they shall die in ignorance of true knowledge. Job 36:12
Give a Gift of Health – Help prevent the spread of water borne illness by donating a water well for $153, or de-worming medicines - $35 to treat 50 patients. Also, during our Spring Matching Drive, every dollar you give to our Where Most Needed fund will be doubled, up to $5,000.