Ask any non-profit how they got started and they’ll never say it was with someone who thought it would just be cool to make a difference. It happens when enough courage is built to be proactive with dreams.
Mike Lipman, an ex-military soldier who saw too much to sit back and do nothing, founded South Asia Pure Water Initiative, Inc. in 2004. He put together a team that would begin a journey to help provide purified water for the innocent people of India whom are at high risks of contracting disease due to lack of clean water.
SAPWII strives to provide households, villages, primary schools and health clinics with BioSand Filters.
“Our team is focused on taking the BioSand filter technology countrywide by training organizations that already have rural development projects and are looking for a low cost and effective clean water technology,” Lipman said.
The team travels overseas to India to train different organizations that already have rural development projects and are looking for low cost and effective clean water technology. The BioSand Filters use reverse osmosis (RO) to purify the water.
“RO has some drawbacks. Fundamentally, reverse osmosis is the process of pushing contaminated water under pressure through a very fine membrane to remove all the contaminants. The process requires large amounts of electricity to force the water through the membrane,” explained Lipman.
Shivani Kumar, SAPWII’s India country representative, hoped to spread this technology throughout India and manage the 90 trained non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are building and distributing.
“When I do site visits to villages and see that families are reporting healthier lives and spending less sick days, it’s the most gratifying feeling and that’s what keeps me energized and focused,” she said.
Some students are much closer to the problem than we think. Masters of Science in Information Systems international student Shiv Rudravaram, was aware of his countries needs and struggles.
“I am from the city, people maybe 100 miles from the city drink contaminated water from the factories. [The BioSand filter] is good, but they need to know the exact places where the problem is. They have good intent.”
Going back to the basics of the environment, Kumar explained the process of the BioSand Filter and what it is capable of.
“While the rest of the world is going hi-tech, we are going back to nature. The BioSand Filter simply requires sand, gravel, and a naturally occurring biolayer as the purification method. Actually the solution is ancient, it’s utilizing the same principle as fresh mountain water. It’s nature purifying nature.”