IIHMR Responds to Prime Minister`s Call

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Deepali Shukla
Date  29/08/2014
Responding to the call of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Red Fort on the Independence Day, maintaining dignity of girls in the schools in the rural areas, IIHMR University has taken a major initiative to contruct toilets in 6500 schools in rural areas, separately for girls and boys. IIHMR University, one of the globally recognized and leading healthcare research organizations’ of the country has prepared a proposal to construct new toilet units in Rajasthan and renovate existing toilet units under its Rural School Sanitation program.

According to the proposal, the University proposes to create an enabling school environment and improve students’ health. It proposes to extend the activities that would include  standardized hand washing facilities, disposal of sanitary napkins, provide privacy and comfort to girl students and female teachers and support retentions of girl students in higher classes of primary and higher primary schools.                                                                                                               

Dr. S.D Gupta, President, IIHMR University said, “IIHMR University has constantly played a vital role in improvement of health care management and related programs of water and sanitation. As per the DISE 2009-10, NUEPA, New Delhi, although the availability of drinking water stands at 93% in school across India, yet a total of 6.50 million children i.e 3.46% children of the total enrollment do not have access to drinking water facilities in schools. A total of 27.6 million children i.e 14.1 million boys and 13.5 million girls accrording to the 14.7% of total children enrolled do not have access to toilet facility in schools. 7 states which include Orissa, Meghalaya, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam and Bihar, account for almost 50% i.e 13.8 million children without access to toilet facilities in schools.

 

Therefore, following the recent appeal made by our Hon. Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi under the ‘Swach Bharat’ Drive, IIHMR has already developed a proposal to construct new toilet units in 6,500 rural schools for sanitation and Hygiene separately for girls and boys in Rajasthan. The sanitation facilities will have doors, disposal facilities of sanitary napkins; hand washing facilities as well as proper operation management system of these toilets will also be conducted by IIHMR Team. As an appeal to save the woman from various crimes and to maintain their privacy we have already constructed more than 40,000 toilets across Rajasthan state under the Aapni Yojna program also proclaimed under Open Defecation Free (ODF) program.”

 

Dr. Goutam Sadhu, Associate Professor & Dean- Rural Management, IIHMR University said, “It is estimated that 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness (UNDP- HDR-2006). They are places for imbibing good habits and hygiene, which provide the foundation for life. Children who learn and imbibe proper hygiene practices are able to influence their siblings, parents and the community to adopt such practices.


Under the Rural School Sanitation program we have proposed the capacity building and training of Headmasters, Teachers and Students to train the already existing School management Committee into a vibrant committee which will play an active role in monitoring of school toilets and resource mobilization of schools. In this initiative, schools will adopt the proposed model of IIHMR to optimize the use of available funds, helping them to improve effectiveness and sustainability of rural School Sanitation programme, which can later on be replicated in all schools of the state. Under this programme, a model school will demonstrate good practices which other schools in the block can emulate. Recognitions of best performing schools will motivate others to adopt best hygiene practices in schools.”


The proposed Rural School Sanitation programme by IIHMR in Rajasthan will be able to improve hygiene and sanitation facilities and practices using existing State Government human and financial resources and will be based on the 3A’s principle - Awareness, Accessibility & Absenteeism. It will serve as an entry point to involve the community to improve the quality of education in schools, will create a huge impact on school enrollment, girl/boy enrollment ratios, reduce absenteeism, improve school going experience of children, increase security of children, especially girls and instill good hygiene and sanitation practices amongst children.


IIHMR University has a vast experience of managing water and sanitation projects. It has implemented the prestigious AAPNI YOJNA   in partnership with state government to provide regular supply of safe drinking water in 350 villages, installed over 40,000 sanitary latrines and bathrooms in rural households and 282 schools in the villages of Churu and Hanumangarh districts of Rajasthan. For its contribution in the area of safe drinking water and sanitation, the Government of India designated IIHMR University as National Key Resource Centre, especially for capacity building and implementation of WASH program and activities.

Embarking upon this noble cause of enhancing dignity and respect of women and girls, IIHMR University, has appealed to various corporate houses, trusts and foundations to come forward and join hands in realizing the dreams of the people

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