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Spartan Sagas

  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Spring 2013
Priyanka Pandey brings water and power.
As a student in the Honors College, she won a Schoenel grant which enabled her to make a plan that would bring closer access to water for this village.
“I had this grant.  I wanted to come up with a very specific project that could help, that’s going to target these people.” 
When she visited Bedani, she quickly discovered that water truly was the source of many of their challenges, as well as the solution.
“I had a chance to go around the village and really take in who these people were, why there was, perhaps, so much poverty. I began asking a lot more questions,” she says. “I had just been taking a course at MSU called Family and Child Ecology. We had just gone over the basics of how, in every community, the basic needs have to be met—which are food, shelter and water.  Only after that, can we meet the secondary needs of education, which meant health, independence and the power of life.
She talked with people living in the village and found a relatively simple solution to this dire problem. “We came up with the idea of a hand pump. It was a very basic thing—just clean water. It didn’t need a lot of management. It’s something that could be put into place in a couple of days. It just ended up being a lot cheaper. I was like, ‘That’s great!’” It was very good news. “Instead of installing three, which is what I wrote in my grant, I was able to install five. It would be something that wouldn’t just affect one generation but many, many, many generations to come.”