We went to several villages near Hyderabad to check out their water situation.
Here you can see the water looks beautiful flowing over the rocks...
When you look closer, you see foam from the polluted water.
This water has high concentrations of fluoride and other salts and heavy metals.
It makes people's bones deteriorate, causes birth defects and other illnesses.
We stopped at an elementary school and visited with the children for a time. They were so excited to see us!
Most of the village people are day-workers in the rice and cotton fields or they tend goats, cattle and water buffalo.
These people are part of the Lambani Tribe. The older women still wear beautiful, ornate costumes. Their ancestors were forest wanderers and wore the sparkled and bright colored clothes to keep wild animals away. They only have a spoken language, no written language.
Village leaders came to talk abut their needs. These village women asked for sewing machines so they could learn a trade and begin to earn money for their family and be self sufficient.
The brick in this picture is the beginning of the building that the village is constructing in anticipation of a Reverse Osmosis system we hope to bring to them so that the water will be clean.
This village is particularly hard hit by polluted water. They have to walk up to 5 Km to get bad water or they use the really bad water in the village.
This 80 year old lady has lost her husband and children. She is by herself. She has no one to help her carry 45 pound containers of water 5 Km to her home. She is forced to drink the highly polluted water in her village. She said to us "I beg you. I bless your feet that you will bring us clean water."
"We can exist without food, but we cannot live without water."
On the way back to Hyderabad we came upon a funeral. People put on their best clothes and walk across the fields to where the person will be buried. Notice the large bull at the center of the bottom picture. There were two at this funeral. Someone will dress up the bulls with fancy braids, scarfs, blankets and other baubles and have the bulls stand near the large group. People who attend the funeral pay money to the people who bring the bulls to the funeral.
A reporter from the local Namasthete Langaana newspaper came to us--while we were waiting for several of the people in our party to pay their respects at the funeral--and interviewed us about why we were there. The story above is in Telegu, sorry the picture he took did not make it into the paper.