Mums, they pave the way for us…they work, cook, clean, console, their wisdom is endless and their love knows no bounds. This is true for Mallika, a 35-year-old adoring mother of two from a remote village in Bangladesh.
When we sat down to talk about what life looks like for Mallika and her family since becoming a member of Thankyou’s WASH program, it was evident that once women are empowered with the correct resources they have the skills, knowledge and power to create incredible impact.
In 2014 water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs were funded in Mallika’s village through our impact partner, Oxfam. Since the introduction of a water plant, a source of safe water, Mallika no longer has to spend her time fetching water from ponds but rather focuses on being an active member of WASH, educating women on safe cooking and sanitary practises.
Mallika is one of the nine women who head up the WASH program, explaining “It is not an easy task, hence the selection of members had to be done very carefully.”
It is clear when talking to Mallika the plant has had a profound affect not only on her, but her family also, saying “We used to suffer so much before but now we do not anymore.” Just like all mothers she takes immense pride in being able to spoil her children,
“I feel great. I feel happier whenever I can give some pocket money to my kids whereas previously my husband was always the one giving it to them.”
There is far more to Mallika than what meets the eye - she is savvy, considerate and an inspiring woman. “I think I like to help people out. Plus, whenever I see any conflict anywhere, I like to sort that out too.” With patience and poise, Mallika guides families that are facing adversity (ranging from disease to marital problems), always taking a solution focused approach.
Beyond the basic necessities the WASH program has given Mallika and her community, the sense of independence and purpose that the women now feel is the real game-changer.
“I feel very happy that all of you have come to hear our stories. I am also very grateful to WASH team for bringing so many developmental changes in our community like the water plant. We used to suffer so much before but now we do not anymore.”