My Visit to India
Last December I had the opportunity to visit some of the WaterAid and World Wildlife Fund projects in various locations in India. It was probably the most incredible trip of my life.
We visited local communities in Shukhapurwa in the north of India where they have access to clean water and toilets that enable them to go to work and get sick less frequently; However in Lucknow, we saw the other side where the Bharat Puri community don’t have any hygiene and sanitation facilities close to home or clean water to drink. WaterAid is working to improve their current situation an transform their lives.
1 in 9 people worldwide still dont have access to safe water and more people have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet. Thanks to WaterAid and the Water Programme these communities in India have now access to safe water to drink and a loo; and in the near future many more will join them as Water is happiness.
I also had the opportunity to visit local farms and to learn more about the irrigation systems that they use there to water the sugar cane and mustard plantations, which are one of the main sources of income.
Nature in India is breath taking and the beautiful Ganges river is full of life so in just a couple of hours there I realised about importance of this river for the local community. I could see the whole life along this sacred river; burial ceremonies, praying, fishing, washing up their clothes in the river banks were some of the activities that I saw from the boat there. We were very privileged to see the Gharial from the distance and it was once in a lifetime experience.
World Wildlife Fund is also doing a fantastic job with the conservation of seven endangered species in the Ganges including the river dolphins, Indian crocodiles ( Gharials )and three species of freshwater turtles. They are also working on educating people about animals conservation in their new interpretation centre in Hastinapur.
I came back home as a completely different person after spending one week in India and I strongly believe that there is hope for them. Having seen these projects and spoken to the local community, I feel even more motivated to continue supporting this cause which is very close to my heart.
My mission now is to run 100 marathons on 7 continents including Antarctica to raise funds and awareness for WaterAid. Water is a human right so I wont sop running until we provide water and sanitation to everyone everywhere.