ShaMa foundation, an international, non – profit organization dedicated to social welfare, education, and health care, which has been active since 2015, and was incorporated in 2018 initiated Shudh Program in Bhutan last year, in June 2017.
The program aims to provide access to safe drinking water in remote and challenging geographies and also strives to achieve this through installation of clean water storage tanks supported by water purifiers.
Shudh Program also aims to minimize water-borne infections caused by contaminated drinking water. Projects under the program are supporting communities in far-flung areas by providing them access to safe drinking water and thereby protecting young children from healthcare issues.
Shudh Program was initiated based on the inputs received from the community; along with that the foundation also came across news articles as how adverse weather conditions during summer and monsoon season impacted the water source of some rural communities.
The foundation received requests from multiple schools that were in urgent need of water purifiers to safeguard their students’ health as their water source had been contaminated due to weather conditions; this initiated the rapid roll out of Shudh Program.
Shudh Program have executed around 20 projects and equipped schools, Extended Class Rooms (ECRs), Early Childhood Care and Development Centres (ECCDs) with facilities as per specific needs of the location – like Gravity Water Purifiers, Electric Water Purifiers, Water Storage Tanks with up to 1000l capacity, along with plumbing supplies.
Shudh Program has supported communities across 10 dzongkhags (Chukha, Dagana, Lhuentse, Mongar, Pema Gatshel, Samtse, Sarpang, Trashiyangtse, Trongsa, and Wangduephodrang).
The foundation is running programs in the developing and under – developed world, supporting people living in challenging geographies and remote terrains with limited support infrastructure. It has active presence in Bhutan, India, Suriname and the United States.
ShaMa Foundation communicates through social media with community members like teachers, local administration, social entrepreneurs and start-ups. RFS (Request For Support) received from community is shared with the Team of Volunteers in Thimphu, who reaches out to the Initiator of the RFS.
The cause is supported by social networks across large multinational corporations across India, Europe and US. Shudh Program has four other programs (Swach, Saraswati, Sanjeevani, Sampark).
Currently, ShaMa Foundation had started a new pilot project “Village Hub” under the umbrella of Sampark Program which is established at Gangla village under Khoma gewog in Lhuentse. The program has one single room at the ground floor of a two storey house which is equipped with water purifier, LED lights, games like carrom board, ludo, chess, chinese checkers; and a library nook.
This special multi-year pilot is focused on gradually introducing more and more facilities in the rural areas, and assessesing its impact on rural-urban migration over time.
Tshering from Thimphu