Am writing this mail based on updates given by Padmaja. Thanks to her we all now have detailed info on the situation in the school.
She had visited the school in Wada along with Vijay on Friday. There were two schools in that area - one, a regular school with even junior college attached (Population of about 500), and the other, a residential school for adivasi children (Strength of around 300). We are focusing only on the normal school right now.
The school has a well (The motor and the pipes are all defunct, the tank is in a bad state as well due to neglect). The water sample was turbid and has a lot of particles (as seen by Padmaja) and a report of the scientific analysis of the sample (Done by Vijay's friends) stated that even a regular UV filtration method would not help, as the density of germs and bacteria in the water was too high. An R.O, on the other hand, would help.
Currently, the kids draw water from the well, and use a simple candle type filter for filtration.
Now, coming to the the important aspects:
Cost of an RO filter: A device that can give water at the rate of 15 liters an hour costs around Rs. 25,000.
Maintenance: The company would maintain the equipment for a year after which the school will have to maintain it
Regularity of electricity: The school has uninterrupted power for 6 days a week, and virtually no power on Fridays
Security of the device: A place has been earmarked for the device and it will be placed under grilled gates and a lock would also be provided to make sure no damage happens. The school, though they accept neglect of the water tank et al, do seem to recognise the importance of cleaner drinking water facilities
Motor: The repair of the motor will be taken care of by the school, they will either repair it or replace with a new one.
Assurance: The school is ready to give us assurance in writing that they will maintain and take care of the device properly
Now from our side, we need to decide on few aspects:
Type of Filter: This article shows that the BARC filter is better than a UV filter and requires very little maintenance or initial costs. Padmaja will follow up on the distributors of this kind of filter and figure out the viability of having this installed in the school.
Follow ups: We have to do follow ups with the school from time (at least once a month), to make sure that the device is being used and maintained well.
Future plans: There is another group that wants to set up a library and together, we can try and have that kind of setup in this school itself, and slowly try and improve standards of education here. The only drawback is the distance (Is one hour from Thane), but if we need to spread our work to villages, this is a good place to start.
Friends, 25K is a big amount and we should think of all possibilities before deciding on this...Since the time is less (We have to decide this week), I urge all of you to put in efforts and try to find alternate filtration methods or any company that might provide discounts on RO plants.