Pranati’s free drinking water distribution kiosk in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The determined girl is physically challenged, but she has proved that her disability is not a hindrance in her voyage for social work. Meet Pranati Swain (41), a polio victim who has been quenching the thirst of others since last seven years in the capital city through her free drinking water distribution kiosk (Jal Seva Sibir) near Palaspalli on the Kargil road.

In 2013, she started the free water kiosk in front of ‘Sushrusha’ near the new office building of Chilika Development Authority (CDA) in Bhubaneswar. Later she shifted the kiosk to the Kargil road. Since then she has been running the free drinking water distribution centre there.

Thankfully, two years back Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) came forward to join hands with Pranati to supply drinking water to the kiosk regularly.

Pranati said, “I am grateful to St John Ambulance Odisha and BMC for helping me out. Now BMC people are supplying water to the kiosk daily between 9.30 am and 11 am and I am distributing water to the people who come thirsty. I am happy that kids, commuters, vehicle drivers and construction workers and others are coming in large numbers to the kiosk to drink water.’’

“Earlier, a minor boy used to help me distributing water. Yet, after the severe cyclone Fani on May 3, I am alone,” she added.

Pranati is a graduate in Arts from Korua Women’s College, Patkura in Kendrapara district. She is currently staying in a rented accommodation near Poonama Gate in the Old Town.

Asked whether she has faced any hurdle on her path of social work she said, “Yes. I am observing earthen pots are being theft from the kiosk at regular intervals. It has emerged as a major problem for me. Earlier, some people used to take away steel glasses, but now they are taking away earthen pots at night. Of course, I am not bothered. I hope someday they would realise it.”

Apart from running the water kiosk, Pranati is also interested in other social services. She executed her share of duty on the World Environment Day yesterday. She led a small group to plant saplings along the Kargil road.

At present, about 103 free water distribution centres are being operated in the capital city including Pranati’s Jal Seva Sibir. Out of that, the civic body is running 35 water ATMs to distribute pure drinking water.

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