Real Women Empowerment in the making


women water mechanic - women empowermentThis is a story of real women empowerment in India ; how one project has boosted the confidence and changed the way these women were perceived.

In Mahoba district in India Gramonnati Sansthan has been training a group of women as water pump mechanics for the past few years.

Each mechanic is responsible for looking after the pump in their village and when large, more complicated repairs are required, they join forces. Before the scheme launched, there were more than 4,000 broken pumps in the district, but the newly-trained mechanics have now fixed more than 300, turning water back on for 30,000 people.

The women, who earlier spent most of their time indoors, may appear to be unlikely mechanics but the work they do is especially important in areas where the sole source of water is a government pump.

The training the women have been given doesn’t just ensure a reliable source of water, but has allowed them to change the way they’re perceived in one of India’s most culturally conservative areas.

The women have been given bicycles to allow them to travel between villages, along with tools and equipment with which to test the water quality.

They have also been taught about sanitation and the diseases which can be passed on through contaminated water.

The newly-trained mechanics pass on sanitation advice to people living in the villages they visit, and as a result, the health of the villagers has improved considerably.

The story of Ram Rati, 45, a water pump mechanic in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, gives us the idea of  how big an impact this project is having on the lives of these women.

“Before us, there were no female mechanics,” she said. “I was confined within the four walls of my house but now I can go out and I can work. I have new skills – I can ride a bicycle, motorcycle and have now also learned how to drive a tractor. I have more money thanks to my hard work and diligence.” She has also trained ten other women from neighbouring villages.

This project is the brain child of British charity WaterAid, which is working with partner organisation, Gramonnati Sansthan to implement it in UP.

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  1. Guruprasad Kathavate on

    wonderful!!! what struck me is this statement by the confident woman RamRati: “I have new skills – I can ride a bicycle, motorcycle and have now also learned how to drive a tractor.” we need skilled people not just literates!

    • Absolutely. Their skill not only makes them feel more capable but also changes the attitude of the society towards them.

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