Tayaba Organisation

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Meet Issiyaan Beghum

A Survivor of the Water Crises

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Issiyaan is a bright young woman, who fell victim to the heartbreaking implications of the water crisis in Pakistan. At the mere age of 26, instead of pursuing her interests or fulfilling her dreams, Issiyaan is struggling with a lifelong disability.


The water crisis is not just a potential future threat for her, it is the biggest reality of her life and the lives of millions of others living in her village and other water-deprived areas in the world. Water is worth more than gold when women spend a significant part of their lives to attain it, sacrificing their present and future. 

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved



It is no less than a war against the growing water scarcity, a daily struggle that can take the form of injuries and lifelong disabilities for females like Issiyaan. The water that is just a tap away for most of us is the most precious resource for millions.

The burden of water fetching responsibilities has taken the greatest toll on Issiyan’s life. When inquired about her disability, Issiyaan narrates her sorrowful story with a sigh and a heavy heart. On a usual afternoon, Issiyaan was fulfilling her daily responsibility of fetching water for her family with other women and girls in her village. As she mounted the water-filled clay pot on her head, her shoulders could not bear the overwhelming weight of the clay pot, causing her to helplessly fall on the ground, forcing her into an eternal disability. In the prime years of her youth, Issiyaan’s back is permanently bent, restricting her physical movement.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

“This has entirely disabled me, I can’t lift heavy objects anymore” – Issiyaan shares her tragic situation after the accident.

The most heartbreaking reality is that despite this painful condition, she has no choice but to be involved in the unpaid labour for water since, as a woman, she is made to feel responsible for the water needs of her family. 


What adds to her struggles is that after the accident, Issiyaan is forced to use small plastic bottles for water hauling since her shoulders can no longer bear the weight of clay pots. Owing to the minimal capacity of the plastic containers, she makes several trips to water collection points every day to fulfil her household’s water needs. Each movement on the rugged path to the nearest well worsens her condition, causing further pain and discomfort. Every morning she faces the dilemma of choosing between letting herself and her children die of thirst or risking her life by walking the same tragic route just to attain water that might be too unsafe to drink.


The course of her life has been changed forever just because of age-old water collection practices and traditions. 


Unfortunately, Issiyaan is not the only one who lost her abilities to the water crisis. There are several women and children whose shoulders could not bear the weight of heavy clay pots and containers, making them vulnerable to permanent disabilities. Thousands of such heart-wrenching ‘water-labour’ stories remain untold while the victims suffer silently, struggling every day, fighting through their pain and suffering, just to ensure the survival of their loved ones. 

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Tayaba Organisation wants to support women like Issiyaan in their daily struggles, hoping to bring some much-deserved ease in their distressed lives with its Help-2-Others (H2O) initiative. An H2O Wheel transformed Issiyaan’s life, accompanying her in her journey to attain water, and relieving her body of the immense toll of water containers.


“The roller (H2O Wheel) has revolutionised our way of getting water. Now it doesn’t matter how rough the path is, I can easily fetch gallons of water easily” – Issiyaan Beghum shared her experience of using the H2O Wheel.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

The H2O Wheel enables Issiyaan to save time and energy, which she can spend in designing and sewing embroidered clothes and accessories that she can sell and contribute to her household income. It helps her bring 40 litres of water for her family in just one trip, giving her a few more hours for resting, socializing with her neighbors, or spending time with her children. Moreover, owing to the wheel’s hygienic storage ability, Issiyaan and her children are now consuming safe and clean water. This wheel ensures that no one else in Issiyaan’s family pays the price for water collection by sacrificing their health and well-being. 


One small initiative can transform thousands of lives. The H2O Wheel can give water-labourers a ray of hope, empowering them with an opportunity to use their precious time and energy in receiving an education, learning a new skill, financing their children’s education, and supporting themselves and their loved ones.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Watch Issiyaan’s H2O story in the video below to know more about the water struggles of thousands of women like her and the impact the H2O wheel has made in their lives!

Published on 18 October, 2022

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