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INDIA: Close to 50 youth have new bathroom facilities at Don Bosco Anbu Illam thanks to Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative”

(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries at Don Bosco Anbu Illam, located in the city of Coimbatore in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, recently completed a new bathroom renovation and improved clean water access thanks to donor funding through the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The shelter for older boys, between 10 and 17 years old, now has new sewer lines and eight new bathrooms. A bathroom that had been heavily damaged and unusable was repaired.

Don Bosco Anbu Illam provides shelter and social support for homeless youth who had been living on the street. Salesian missionaries provide their basic needs while connecting youth to education, rehabilitation, and when possible, reconnection with their families. There are 86 boys in the three Don Bosco Anbu Illam centers. In what’s known as the Bosco Block at Ukkadam, which shelters the senior boys and where the renovation was completed, upwards of 50 boys seek shelter and use the new facilities.

“Having access to proper sanitation brings a sense of dignity to the children and families we serve in our programs,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Improving water and sanitation facilities also ensures that youth are living in an environment that promotes proper hygiene, reducing the number of waterborne illnesses.”

One of the boys in the shelter is Madhavan Ravi who is attending fifth grade at the Good Shepherd School. Ravi was neglected and severely battered and bruised by his stepmother. He was rescued and started at Don Bosco Anbu Illam in 2016. His father was contacted and counseled, but because of the abuse at home, he remains at the Don Bosco center. Ravi, along with the other boys, like the new facilities and are grateful for the improvements.

With more than 1.3 billion people, India’s growing population is putting a severe strain on the country’s natural resources. According to Water.org, close to 77 million people do not have access to safe, clean water and 769 million have no sanitation services. Most water sources throughout the country are contaminated by sewage and agricultural runoff.

While India has made some progress in the supply of safe water, there remain gross disparities in safe water access across the country. The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water with diarrhea alone causing more than 1,600 deaths daily. Access to proper sanitation is extremely poor, particularly in rural areas where only 14 percent of the population has access to a latrine.

The World Toilet Organization has noted that the world is not on track to reach Sustainable Development Goal 6, which ensures availability and sustainable management of sanitation and water for all by 2030. It indicates that 4.5 billion people live without safely managed sanitation and 892 million people still practice open defecation. The impact of exposure to human waste has a devastating impact on public health, living conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.

In response to this crisis, Salesian Missions has developed a “Clean Water Initiative” that has made building wells and supplying fresh, clean water a top priority for every community in every country in which Salesian missionaries work.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

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Sources:

INDIA: Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” provides funding for new bathroom facilities and sewer lines at Don Bosco Anbu Illam

Salesian Missions – Clean Water Initiative

Water.org – India

World Bank – India

World Toilet Day 2018

Salesian Missions – India