In this city of 10 million, much of the water supply is controlled by dudes on motorcycles.
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Stella Artois

Imagine you live in a huge metropolitan city.

Your city has close to 10 million people, is widely known for its beautiful parks, and is sometimes referred to as a kind of "Silicon Valley" for its booming IT sector. But your city still has problems with one of life's most crucial resources...


In this city, you may have to stay by your tap for hours waiting for the water to turn on.

Why? Because the average household here gets 4.5 hours of water every other day. If you're wealthy, you can afford to put a water tank on your roof that will automatically turn on and fill itself. If you're not, you simply have to wait.

There is a schedule, but it's rarely accurate.

The water supply is controlled by valve-men who drive around (seemingly often on motorcycles) and manually open and close the water pipes for each neighborhood. Sometimes, they're late — maybe the pipes are broken, maybe they're sick, maybe their kid is sick, maybe their motorcycle has a flat tire — and sometimes they don't come at all.

But there's a new app that will tell you when your water's coming on (or not).

Enter NextDrop, a service that uses real-time data from the valve-men to keep residents informed, and then uses data from the residents to give the utilities feedback on where there might be broken pipes, low supply, or other issues. No more waiting by the tap for hours for water that will never come — simply wait for the text-message updates instead.


Where are you? This city is Bangalore, India.


Of course, NextDrop is not a perfect answer to Bangalore's water supply issues. No way! But an improved water supply and updated infrastructure will take years — if not decades — to construct. NextDrop is simply a great way to work within the existing system. It may not be perfect, but it's one heck of an improvement.

FACT CHECK: 10 million is a huge number! Are there really that many people in Bangalore (officially known as Bengaluru)? Yes. While the 2011 census counted just 8.5 million residents, Bangalore has since experienced ridiculously rapid growth. Both World Population Review and India Online Pages estimate the current population to be greater than 10 million.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.