Shanti Devi and Fulia Devi are two Self Help Group members of Choti Chapra village. They both belong to very conservative and backward families. Their families did not allow them to participate in outdoor activities. During October-December, 2005, PIDT Lokshala conducted a 15-day hand pump mechanic training program for women, sponsored by the block public health department. Both of them wanted to join the training program, but their husbands and extended families initially would not allow them to participate.

After considerable persuasion, the two women were able to convince their husbands and families that the program was for the good of the society and the families’ wellbeing, as they would be earning income from the work. They also explained that the availability of safe drinking water was hampered owing to the shortage of hand pump mechanics. Their family members saw reason in their argument and allowed them to join the program.

After successfully completing the training, they are now repairing hand pumps in different villages. Out of fifteen trainees, six have already been selected as ‘Jaldoot’ by Madhupur block council and nominated as blocklevel hand pump mechanics with a fixed remuneration of Rs. 600 per month. Back