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Cool, clear, life-giving water flows at Our Lady school

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“Access to clean water is a fundamental, inalienable human right.”
–Corporate Stand on Water as a Human Right and Public Trust, Sisters of the Holy Cross Statement, 2004

Students fill up their water bottles at a line of faucets coming from the water filtration system at Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India, while Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, observes.
Students fill up their water bottles at a line of faucets coming from the water filtration system at Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India, while Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, observes.

It is rather unpleasant to turn on a faucet only to see muddy, rusty water flowing through, especially on a hot day when thirsts run high. At Our Lady of Holy Cross School and Girls’ Hostel in Barakathal, India, the water quality was continuing to worsen until drinking it began making people ill.

The school and hostel are located in the far northeastern state of Tripura, which is part of the Himalayan ecosystem. The impact of climate change on this fragile ecosystem has contributed to a host of water quality issues across the region.

Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, knew something had to be done to keep the students, staff and faculty safe and hydrated.

“We tried using a small filter,” said Sister Khochem. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the capacity to clean the amount of water that 300 students can consume over the course of a day. “Our land is very low, and the climate is very warm at times.”

Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, (right) supervises while the school children examine the new water filtration tank at Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India.
Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, (right) supervises while the school children examine the new water filtration tank at Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India.

With assistance from the Congregation’s Development department, Our Lady of Holy Cross School obtained a grant from the A.A. Beiro Family Foundation, which opened the way to a solution. The grant funds allowed for the purchase of a large water purification system. Two large water tanks—one at the school and one at the hostel—now provide cool, clear, life-giving water to all.

The system uses three layers of filtration to thoroughly eliminate dirt and rust and other contaminants. The fresh, clean, water is a joy to the students, especially on hot days.

“The children were more than excited to see the big water tanks. They no longer need to carry water from home. They fill up their bottles at the faucets on the tank, and they are very careful not to play with the water or waste it,” said Sister Khochem. “We share our gratitude for this generous donation. Students are now assured of their safety from water-borne disease.”

Learn more about the Congregation’s Corporate Stand on Water as a Human Right and Public Trust and consider donating to our other ministries around the world.

Surrounding a sign of appreciation to the Beiro Foundation are students and teachers from Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India, as well as Holy Cross Sisters (second through fourth from left) Mitali Mree, Parboti (Gomes) and M. Bruno (Beiro). Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, is at the far right.
Surrounding a sign of appreciation to the Beiro Foundation are students and teachers from Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India, as well as Holy Cross Sisters (second through fourth from left) Mitali Mree, Parboti (Gomes) and M. Bruno (Beiro). Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, is at the far right.

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