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Drive to provide 6,500 toilets for school girls in rural India

Sep 01, 2014

Taking cue from the Indian Premier’s I-Day speech, an educational body is all set to construct toilets for girls in rural schools.

New Delhi: Responding to the recent appeal made by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for upholding the dignity of girls in rural schools, the Indian Institute of Health Management and Research (IIHMR) University took an initiative to construct toilets in 6500 schools in rural areas, separately for girls and boys under ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive.

The IIHMR University prepared a proposal to construct new toilet units in Rajasthan and renovate existing toilet units under its Rural School Sanitation programme.

According to the proposal, the university plans to create an enabling school environment to improve the health of students. The drive would make provisions for standardised hand washing facilities, disposal of sanitary napkins, and ensure privacy and comfort to girl students and female teachers.

Dr S D Gupta, President, IIHMR University said, “The university has constantly played a vital role in improvement of health care management and related programmes of water and sanitation.”

Dr Gupta explained that as per the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), the availability of drinking water stands at 93% in school across India, yet around 3.46% children of the total enrollment do not have access to drinking water facilities in schools.

He further added that 27.6 million children enrolled do not have access to toilet facility in schools. Seven states including Orissa, Meghalaya, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam and Bihar, account for almost 50% children without access to toilet facilities in schools.

Dr Goutam Sadhu, Associate Professor and 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).”

“Children who learn and imbibe proper hygiene practices are able to influence their siblings, parents and the community to adopt such practice,” said Dr Sadhu.

Dr Sadhu told that the initiative, in the schools, will adopt the proposed model of IIHMR to optimise the use of available funds, helping schools to improve effectiveness and sustainability of rural School Sanitation Programme, which can later on be replicated in all schools of the state.

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