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December 16, 2011

Give Water for Christmas


I wonder if Santa washes his hands before he gobbles up the milk and cookies at each house.  Practicing proper hygiene is something we take for granted, but some people aren’t as lucky to have this basic education.  Millions fall ill and die due to the effects of poor hygiene–mostly children–and MangoHwy thinks that’s ridiculous.

When MangoHwy met with WaterAid India we learned about their innovative initiatives in Delhi schools to demonstrate hygiene practices using videos,  puppet shows and health rallies.  WaterAid is also focused on helping communities gain better access to water and improving sanitation.  Their hands-on and community focused approach to solving these issues is why we picked to support them.

So for Christmas, I am asking for help to reach our original fundraising goal of $5,000 for WaterAid.  We knocked out two-thirds of that goal on our trip to India and I believe that we can make it the rest of the way by 2012 with your help.

A gift of just $25 can pay for one person in one of the world’s poorest countries to gain access to safe, clean water and sanitation for life!  That’s a months worth of bottled water to many.

I would also like to thank all those who donated already this summer.  We watched the fundraiser bar daily and really appreciated the love.

Peace and love,



July 30, 2011

Fundraiser #3: Cory Scalped

Part purification process and part used for pushing my fundraising agenda, Cory had his head shaved at the Ganga!

June 26, 2011

Water from a Well


There are deep well hand pumps everywhere in India: from the largest metros to rural villages.  In Kolkata there are hand wells every couple of blocks and along the national highways one appears about every mile.  People use these to wash everything from themselves to dishes and fill water pots and plastic bottles to be their home water supply for the entire day.

It was shocking to see how limited and uncommon plumbing is–even in cities–and amazing to observe the process people go through 2-3 times daily for something we take completely for granted.  To think that there is still a large percentage of people who don’t have access to hand pumps is even harder to accept, but something we hope to raise money to improve.

Below is a small selection of photos of people using hand pumps (including Kunal giving one a tug) and carrying water.  Having been here a month now I have to say that these are all incredibly common sights to see all over India, but I was really happy we captured them and I hope you enjoy.


June 2, 2011

Fundraiser #2: Kunal’s Birthday Wish

Just as Cory and John did earlier in the year, it’s Kunal’s turn to reach age 30 on June 4.  Kunal is dedicating his birthday to raising funds for WaterAid through Mango Highway.  His wish is to push the meter to $1,800 in total donations by end of the week.

Growing up in India, clean water and sanitation were basic needs that I took for granted.  Meeting with WaterAid India and learning more about these issues in my home country has opened my eyes to the disparity of basic needs here in India.  As my country becomes more developed we need to make sure everyone has access to these basic rights. -Kunal Kamra, 29

DONATE now for Kunal’s Birthday!

May 31, 2011

WaterAid India

We scored a meeting with WaterAid India today!  Sweta Patnaik, a program officer specializing in advocacy, gave us a great overview and introduction to the operations and programs in the country.  Then we had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Indira Khurana, the Director, Policy and Partnership, and even sat with the entire senior executive team (pictured) to discuss our trip over simosas and gulab jamum.

More details on our next fundraising event coming soon!

May 22, 2011

Fundraiser #1: Finish Line [Updated]

A special thanks to everyone who donated to push us over $1000 within our first week of fundraising!  It’s incredible to see such a wonderful response and I hope we can keep the inspiration up through more mini fundraisers throughout our trip!

Carrying the jerry can and a mango for the duration of the 13.1 mile Brooklyn Half Marathon was difficult.  I tried strapping it to my upper back the night before, but a trial run around the block proved unsuccessful.  Next I tried strapping to my lower back like a fanny pack which seemed to work ok in test jogs around my apartment.  However, within the first 50 meters of the race it was clear that this method would not work either.  So, the only other option was to carry it in my hand.  As it turned out, the mango was a perfect counter balance to the jug and other than a few hand cramps it all worked out.

The response from the crowd and other runners was excellent; I had the opportunity to explain the fundraiser and WaterAid to lots of folks both during and after.  My official time was 2:02:51 which was about where I expected considering all the accessory malfunctions and limited training.

As I crossed the finish line I took a nice large bite of the mango, peel and all; it was way better than the apples they were offering.  Looking forward to more mangoes in India in less than a week!

[Update: You can actually see me–just barely–taking a bite from the mango in the video of the finish:]


May 19, 2011

Sanitation Proclamation

Great ad from for Good Work at Cannes. More vids at

May 16, 2011

Ram Rati’s story

Inspiring example of some of WaterAid India’s work.  Check out more of her story at

May 13, 2011

Water Changes Everything

A well designed video from Charity:Water

May 11, 2011

Adventure with a Purpose

In addition to blogging about the great adventure we embark on in a few weeks, we are going to use this space to raise awareness and seek donations for a cause we all feel passionate about: water.  To be more specific, we want to help families get easier access to clean water.

In developing countries all over the world, millions of people do not have easy access to clean drinking water which greatly restricts their ability to improve their lives.  Safe water and sanitation are basic human rights. Everyone in the world should have access to them. We believe that access to safe water and sanitation underpins health, education and livelihoods, and forms the first, essential step in overcoming poverty.

The three of us have a goal of raising $5,000 for WaterAid India which we will deliver to them in person. Furthermore we hope to work with WaterAid and affiliate organizations in the country to volunteer locally and personally distribute water filters to communities.  Over the next week, we will post a donation link and more information about our mission.

About WaterAid India

WaterAid began working in India in 1986. Currently, WaterAid India (WAI) works in 10 states; Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

WaterAid India’s objectives are to:

  • enable improved access to sustainable, safe and adequate water supply and sanitation through water, sanitation and hygiene projects;
  • create a knowledge base for promotion and dissemination of best practice and advocacy at different levels;
  • develop and foster an enabling environment for effective programme implementation, in-country funding, organisational learning and growth.

Since 2003, WaterAid India shifted its focus from southern India to include the poorer states in the north to better target India’s most vulnerable communities. With this in mind, the country office was moved to the nation’s capital, New Delhi.