Serkhet, a Government Primary school at Raipur, is situated in a remote block of Dehradun with 33 students attending from 5-6 villages. However, in terms of facilities it is at the tail end. The toilets weren’t in a good working condition and the authorities had lost all hope to receive any help, as even after many interventions by various organisations nothing was implemented that brought an impactful change.
The Tata Trusts along with their associate organisation, the Himmotthan Society, decided to roll out WASH in the schools. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) aimed at making a visible impact on the health of children through improving their hygiene practices, and those of their families. It was also aimed at improving the curriculum and teaching methods, while encouraging community ownership of water and sanitation facilities within schools.
It took some time to bring the school authorities on board and assure them that the project will materialise. With the thought of improved children’s health, school enrolment, attendance and retention, the school authorities joined hands to pave way for a new generation of healthy kids. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, along with the Tata Trusts’ Tata Water Mission supported the project.
Students have been the fundamental change agents and ambassadors for the WASH programme, and are incredibly happy to see the changes in their school ambience. A student happily says, “Our school stands; it is so colourful, with these messages painted for us on the walls and being read by us daily. We are enjoying making it a habit, be it keeping our school clean, having better toilets or learning water management.”
Another one adds, “We also learn many new things about water quality, sanitation through puppet shows, film clips; which is really interesting.”
The project has helped in inspiring the teachers and the school management committee to play an active role and adopt these practices as their common duty.
A teacher says, “This is a welcome initiative, and now our common duty to maintain all assets will ensure long term sustainability and improve the quality of life of our communities.”
This story has been taken from the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts Annual Report 2019-20