Rudrapak, a village in the Krishna District in India, has a population of 2,176 and 576 households. Most of the villagers are agricultural land owners and laborers, and the village is surrounded by freshwater fish ponds. For generations, villagers have drawn water from these ponds as their drinking water source, so education is very important to help improve adoption rates.
After implementing the Safe Water Campaign in Rudrapak, school absentee rates were significantly reduced in comparison with absenteeism in other villages.
The Zilla Parshad High School (ZPHS) has 678 students, and of those, nearly 80 percent are local and 20 percent live outside of the village. Absentee rates from local students were less than 10 percent for each month monitored from June through August of this year. The absentee rates for non-local students were a much as a third over the same timeframe.
Although the school supplies safe water to all of its students, safe water is not available when non-local students return to their villages, so they frequently fall ill. Administrators believe that illness due to waterborne disease is one factor for the higher absentee rate among non-local students.
Community awareness is so high that the Rudrapak villagers carry water when they travel to other villages.
According to the ZPHS Principal, Mr. Sabsiva Rao, the School Cabinet has been assigned the responsibility of monitoring the children to ensure that they maintain good hygiene practices and that there is no wastage of water. Every year, Rs 10 (less than 22 cents) per student is collected from school children and an equal amount is contributed by the school committee to ensure that children consume safe water at school.