Geeta is a 39 year old resident of village Garhi Bazidpur in Haryana. She belongs to an underprivileged rural community (called “Harijan”). The women in the staunchly patriarchal society are restricted to the four walls of their houses and have no say in family’s decision making.
Geeta was pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree when she got married on the pretext that she will be allowed to finish her education after her marriage but things went in a different direction. Owing to the conservative mindset of the society, she was not allowed to complete her graduation or even get out of the house. Meanwhile her husband lost his job and they started facing issues to even arrange meal once a day, making her children suffer day in and day out.
Not getting succumb to her circumstances, Geeta became part of one of the Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed by Navjyoti India Foundation to impart socio-economic empowerment to the women of rural areas. She started attending group training which boosted her confidence and self-esteem. This helped her deal with her financial crisis by availing loan from her SHGs.
In 2018, Geeta was part of a 4-days intensive training session on the ‘Introduction and Importance of Biosand filters’. By relating herself to the need of such inexpensive filter with low maintenance that could work without
electricity in these rural areas and the ways of assembling bio-sand filters, she could master this skill and was chosen as one of the technical expert amongst the batch of 25 beneficiaries.
Geeta started her campaign on promoting the accessibility of safe and clean drinking water for all by adopting this home based technology. First, she installed the filters in their houses and then sold it to their immediate
family and neighbors. Keeping in mind, the merits of the filter, she started imparting awareness on water quality and water conservation related issues in her village. At times, she traveled more than 45 kms to different areas of Delhi NCR. In total she could sell 8 filters and generate an income of approximately Rs. 28,000/- and around 50 people started getting safe and clean drinking water with the help of Bio sand filter with almost zero maintenance cost.
Geeta is determined to carry on her drive and is unknowingly working towards the achievement of one of the UN sustainable development goal of Clean water and Sanitation under 2030 agenda. She is a true change maker at the grassroots and today is a key figure working for the social and economic upliftment of women in her community. She feels that the attitude of her society has certainly started to change towards the women who are now looked at with respect. She aspires to become an ambassador of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) promoting safe drinking water, health and hygiene in the rural communities.