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How a SIM Card & a Simple Idea Helped Solve a Kerala Village’s Water Woes

MR Ajayakumar’s water project incorporates a simple concept—the pump house of a well in the village will be controlled by a mobile phone-based software!

With the onset of summer, many places across India have begun to face acute water scarcity and have been buying water from the neighbouring regions that have replenishable water sources.

Pallikkathodu, a village in the Kottayam district of Kerala, is one such place that has been suffering from water scarcity for a while. Even though many government projects were employed for the cause, they all proved to be futile.

However, now there is hope.

One resident’s technological intervention will now provide drinking water to 40-odd families of Pallikkathodu and has become a prototypical example that can be adopted by the state government and local self-governing bodies of other regions grappling with water shortage.

MR Ajayakumar’s water project incorporates a simple concept—the pump house of a well in the village will be controlled by a mobile phone-based software!

Reaching out to families living within a radius of 3 km, the modus operandi of the system rests on motors in the pump house being controlled via the SIM card in the users phone.

For representational purposes. Source: Facebook.

The well and pump house was built in the land provided by Chirakkarott Sreedharan, who is one of the residents of the village, reports Mathrubhumi.

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Whenever a household requires water, all they need to do is to call that number and the motor will start pumping. Similarly, one has to call the same number to stop the motor. Each family pitched in ₹30,000 to fund the project.

They still have to route the water to the well, but Ajayakumar’s solution has proven to be quite cost-effective, as previously the families had no option but to buy water every single week.


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Additionally, most families do not have a well in their compound, and no borewell project came to their respite during the time of intense water scarcity.

The genius of Ajayakumar’s drinking water project, especially in a water-short village like Pallikkathodu, is that these families will no longer require an operator to man the pump with the automatic mechanism. They will only have to pay the electricity charges and can save the water tax.

Kudos to Ajayakumar, as his simple yet impactful idea, will help numerous families who no longer have to suffer from the wrath of summer or burn their pockets purchasing water week after week.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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Written by Lekshmi Priya S

Shuttling between existentialist views and Grey's Anatomy, Lekshmi has an insanely disturbing habit of binge reading. An ardent lover of animals and plants, she also specializes in cracking terribly sad jokes.