chapter  6
26 Pages

Of operational significance

In December 2007 I met Nagaveni, a young girl who lives in a small slum on the

outskirts of Bangalore city. I asked about her water situation and she shared this

with me:

My name is Nagaveni and I am ten years old. I have one brother and one

sister. My brother is eleven and my sister is seven. We get water from bore

well taps. My house is a little far from the tap and five houses catch water

from there. Sometimes it is hard to get water. If water doesn’t come I have

to ask my neighbours for water. If they say I can take I take, if they ask for

rupees I tell them ‘no, I can’t pay please, please, please’. We cannot afford

to pay rupees for water. Every week I have to ask posh houses for water. I

have to go from that side to that side and keep asking until someone will

give. It is hot and the pot is heavy and from that I get headaches. Walk,

walk, walk, it takes so many hours. Sometimes the whole village [slum]

doesn’t get water. When water doesn’t come our mouth is like pepper and

we want water, water.