Manda Rajeram Pal lives in Parda village, in the Wardha district of Maharashtra.
She and her family members often fell sick, directing most of their savings towards medical expenses and doctor’s fees. There was one instance when her condition was so serious that she required a blood transfusion and had to stay admitted at a hospital in Nagpur for 15 to 20 days.

This changed when Manda joined the P. A. C. E. training from September 2019 to February 2020. Here, she learnt about the existence of multiple viruses in our surrounding environment and how they enter our bodies, causing diseases and disorders. A most basic solution for this was a good habit like regular handwashing – at least at five critical times in a day, using purified water from Jeevan drop or by simply boiling water at home. This was covered under the WASH module.

Manda began to apply this knowledge at an individual and household level, pushing her children and husband to wash their hands and keeping her home clean and tidy. She prepared dustbins from empty oil tins, labelling them as ‘Dry Waste’ and ‘Wet Waste’, segregating their garbage thereon. In addition, Manda raised the issue of waste management with the Gram Panchayat and demanded a proper waste management system to be put in place.

The Gram Panchayat agreed to this and arranged for a vehicle to collect waste from the community, while the Sarpanch urged the people to follow the system at the household level. This waste is being collected and managed by the Waste Management Department at the taluka level.

It is marvellous what the right knowledge, vision and the desire to make a difference can do. Manda rose to the occasion and spearheaded a movement for better health and hygiene in her village.

About the Programme: CARE is working with USAID and Gap Inc. as a partner of the ambitious Women + Water Alliance (W+W) to improve and sustain the health and well-being of 2,00,000 women, their households and communities touched by the apparel industry. The programme is designed on the premise that by providing access to water, inculcating sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices and sharing water resources in a sustained and equitable manner, women will be able to significantly improve their health and wellbeing.

Posted by: Priyank Verma, KMLE Expert
Location: Parda village, Samudrapur taluka, Wardha district, Maharashtra

In 2022, for International Women’s Day (IWD), the UN has adopted the theme ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’, to celebrate the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.