In India, one of five deaths is attributed to contaminated drinking water. In fact, nearly one million people in the country do not get clean water. Even 66 years after Independence, thousands of people are forced to travel miles to fetch a basic necessity like water. Add to this, the struggle to filter and boil it to make it drinkable.
But finally, a domestic company Livinguard Technologies has come up with something that can solve this grave problem.
They have come up with several scalable products that can purify water in villages and remote areas through some special household filters based on gravity filtration. Around eight litres of water can be stored in the filter and, at the most, four to six litres can be purified in an hour.
"We were able to theoretically find the best possible solution that would work on all three organisms, bacteria, viruses and fungi, effectively," said Sanjeev Swamy, chief executive officer, Livinguard Technologies.
There is a similar product called 'matka filter,' which is placed on a matka (pot) to purify water using the same technology.
To purify large quantities, Livinguard Technologies has come up with scalable community filters, which can be used in hospitals, villages, schools etc. These filters will help kill the most minute bacteria in the water, preventing water-borne diseases. They cost less than Rs1 lakh each and provide pure drinking water to over 2,000 schoolchildren at less than three paise a litre!
The company has also tied up with various NGOs and charitable trusts — Watershed Organization Trust, Bisleri Trust and Swades foundation, to name a few. Livinguard household rural filters have been distributed to several thousand rural households in villages in Gujarat and Maharashtra. These cost less than Rs1,000.
"The feedback after only a few months of use has been incredible. I have heard from villagers of not only the positive changes in taste and quality of water but also the remarkable decrease in water-borne illnesses like diarrhoea and dysentery. The impact on health and well being of BPL families exemplifies the potential and success of Livinguard," Swamy said.
Unlike most other technologies in the market currently, Livinguard is environment-friendly; it does not require electricity, catering specifically to resource-poor areas, and does not produce any waste water, ensuring the careful use of scarce resources without using any chemicals to purify water.
The company also own this proprietary textile coating technology, which impregnates the entire cross-section of the fabric mechanically killing and preventing the reproduction of bacteria and viruses, without any chemicals leaving the textile. "We then went about developing these chemistries so that they were compatible with textiles and then applied the chemistry on textiles while approving its safety," Swamy said.
The company has used this coated textile to design these cost-effective water filtration solutions at the rural, urban household and community level.