A world of difference’

PUBLISHED: 13:19 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

Bridget Gough with some of the women in Prathipura

Bridget Gough with some of the women in Prathipura

GP Peter Gough believes a new project could make a world of difference to people living in an area of north-west India. Dr Gough, who set up the Khandel-light charity to help people in Rajasthan, has just returned from a four-day visit. While there he d

GP Peter Gough believes a new project could make "a world of difference" to people living in an area of north-west India.

Dr Gough, who set up the Khandel-light charity to help people in Rajasthan, has just returned from a four-day visit.

While there he discovered that it may be possible for the village to be supplied with electricity which would power a desalination plant to provide water.

The Barley and Royston GP said that at the moment the village depended on water being delivered in tankers from a private supplier.

Dr Gough said he hoped that an electricity supply could be laid on so that a plant could be up-and-running.

He said: "We are looking into the possibility of talking to manufacturers and setting up an initial trial.

"It could make a world of difference to the villages. It would make them independent of the water supplies."

Currently, there are about 5,000 families in the area dependent on buying water.

He said the desalination plants would cost about £130 each, but a "considerable amount of money" would be needed for the project.

"Water is crucial to everything," he said.

"It is crucial to employment, and in stopping migration to the cities.

"It is crucial to health, and it is crucial to the survival of the community."

Dr Gough was visiting the area with his wife Bridget, and his sons Ed and Richard.

He was looking at the progress of Khandel-light projects since his last visit 18 months ago.

In particular, he went to see a terrace of homes built in Prathipura which are now being occupied by families who once lived in mud huts and had to shelter under trees when it rained.

"When Khandel-light decided it would target homes for them, the authorities objected because they would be built on common land. They relented - and lots of officials came to the opening," said Dr Gough.

The brick houses were completed in 80 days at a cost of £330 each.

"The lives of the seven families have been transformed," he said.

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