A London based NGO called Wells on Wheels has recently been appreciated by The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for their kind gesture for women in rural areas of Maharashtra. The British service public broadcaster interviewed the founder of the NGO and discussed their views and plans at length which went on air on Wednesday.
Shaz Memon, the founder of Wells on Wheels, could be heard on radio saying he had seen girls carrying pails of water on their heads and walking for miles multiple times a day. He was talking about his project of water wheels in the BBC programme called Asian Network's Big Debate.
Memon wanted to do some charity and make an impact for the needy. He contacted his cousin in Mumbai who would go to the rural areas to help people.
“My cousin used to send me videos of those who were being benefitted to make me feel included. I saw in the background in one of the videos girls carrying water pots on their heads and shoulders. It struck me that there could be a substitute product and hence we started working on it,” Memon said.
"Water is incredibly heavy, as heavy as a filled suitcase. The girls in many parts of rural India have to carry pots full of water from wells that are miles away from their homes for their daily needs,” Memon explained in the programme.
Memon thought of a cart that could carry enough water for a day at once and hence came around the idea of water wheels.
“The most unfortunate part is that these girls have to miss school in order to fetch water. After receiving the water wheels, they do not have to miss school nor they have to carry heavy pots on their shoulders,” he added.
Memon started the NGO in June 2019 and has delivered 311 water wheels in Sangamner, Igatpuri, Dindori and Malegaon in Maharashtra which has made the lives of young girls in the rural parts of the state far easier.
Ajay Deore, the ground team leader of Wells on Wheels in Nashik, who works voluntarily for the cause, was also on BBC.
“We have about 200 wheels ready to be delivered once the Coronavirus subsides. It feels great to see our acts of kindness making an impact,” he said.
The NGO has recently been listed as one of the top ten water charity philanthropists by The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Shaz Memon had won the Corporate Social Responsibility award in 2019 in the United Kingdom (UK). Also, Wells on Wheels has recently been featured in The Parliamentary Review, which is the official business journal of the UK government.