You may not appreciate the stylings of Nicki Minaj’s music or think that her fashion sense is all that, but you have to agree that this singer’s philanthropy is amazing. Nicki made headlines two weeks ago when she went on a Twitter-fueled spree of giving. The Pink Friday singer connected with numerous people on the social media platform, getting fans back to school, giving grants for books, or just helping fans get out from under the crushing debt of student loans. Her only stipulation was that the recipients of the Nicki Minaj Full Ride Scholarship show her a 4.0 GPA.
Recently, however, Nicki took to Instagram to let the world know about a project that was near and dear to her heart. She has been anonymously donating money through her pastor, Lydia Sloley, to a small village in India. Thanks to her charity, the village has a computer center, a tailoring institute, a reading program, and two water wells providing fresh and clean drinking water. That last part is no small thing to any village in India, where finding a source of clean untainted water is difficult and expensive. According to numerous reports, Indians have the worst access to potable water of any country in the world.
The Water Crisis In India
India has a population of over 1.3 billion people, over four times the number of people in the United States (321.4M). Of that number, nearly 76 million are without access to clean drinking water. That means that they either have to buy water or risk using water that is contaminated with sewage or chemicals.
A 13-gallon supply for the day – the amount recommended by the World Health Organization – costs on average $0.72. That may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that the average daily wage is only $4, the financial burden imposed becomes clear. For a clearer comparison, it would be like an average American who works eight hours per day at a $10/hour job having to pay almost $15 per day just for clean water.
Clean water can be found in India, but the majority of it is in underground aquifers. Hand pumps that do not tap deep reserves can deplete shallow aquifers quickly, which makes it imperative that installed pumps are drilled properly. In absence of this, the poor scavenge from open ponds and rivers, risking using contaminated water.
The alternative for poor people who do not have access to a pump well is to risk using dirty water. The often contaminated water comes at a steep price, with millions each year becoming sick, and children suffering most of all. There are an estimated 140,000 children in India who die each year from diarrheal diseases caused by tainted water.
Of course, India isn’t the only country where citizens lack access to clean water. There are an estimated 663 million people around the world that lack access to this fundamental need.
Charities To Help
Nicki used this opportunity to let her fans know of her charity work and get them involved. While she hasn’t yet released information on the charity that she works with, there are some well-known nonprofit organizations whose goal is to provide people around the world with access to potable water.
One of the premiere charities is Water.org, an international nonprofit organization that was cofounded by actor Matt Damon and Gary White, an engineer who has been listed on the TIME 100 most influential people in 2011.
Another big nonprofit organization with an excellent track record for helping get clean water is CharityWater. This nonprofit covers its operating costs through private donations, so 100 percent of public donations go to fund water projects around the world.
At the end of the day, Nicki Minaj’s music and her taste in men or clothing may not be your cup of tea. But when it comes to helping those less fortunate than herself, we can all echo Drake and tell Nicki that we love her.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/AP Images]