Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Saving India, one drop at at time

Aabid Surti of Mumbai (Bombay), India, recalls that his childhood was spent "on the pavement. There was a fight for every drop of water. Every bucket we had to fight for. And that legacy stayed with me." Since then, he's written 80 books and seven plays, hosted 16 exhibits of his paintings and won a National Award for his short story collection. Now he's 80, but has no plans to retire. Why not? "Once, when I went to a friend's place, I saw a tap leaking, and it hurt me," he says.

So in 2007 he started a one-man NGO called "Drop Dead." Here's how it works. "We target a big building, especially in the ghettos of Mumbai, every Monday. If the building secretary agrees, we put up posters that say Drop Dead. People see them all week. On Saturday we distribute our pamphlets explaining our work and why we will visit their homes on Sunday. Finally, on Sunday, we go and fix the leaking faucets."  In the first year, he visited 1,666 houses on Mira Road and repaired 414 leaking taps free of charge. Is your faucet dripping?

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