New Delhi: Centre has asked the states and UTs to create hand washing facilities with the provision of soap, and train teachers to impart hygiene education to students in all the schools across the country. Ministry of Education in a statement said that States/UTs have been asked to fast-track the provision of stand-alone piped water supply solutions and simple, sustainable solar solutions.
In a joint advisory issued by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education; Ministry of Jal Shakti; NITI Aayog; Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, it is mentioned that the rejuvenation of basic infrastructure including improved sanitation facilities and provision of safe drinking water and maintaining the overall cleanliness in the Government schools has long been a priority of the Government. Some of the programmes being implemented in mission modes like Swachh Bharat Mission- Grameen (SBM-G) and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) are going a long way in improving the living standards of the people, the Ministry said.
The Ministry further added that the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) has transformed rural India by manifesting into a Jan Andolan for sanitation. Under Phase -ll of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), the focus is on Open Defecation Free (ODF) sustainability and solid and liquid waste management.
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Following the saturation approach, the objective is to ensure that no one is left behind from access to improved including the Schools.
It is further mentioned that under ODF Plus, it is also to be ensured that all schools in villages have arrangements for the management of bio-degradable waste and grey water. It is important to ensure that all the toilets in the schools are in proper functioning condition. However, some of them may require retrofitting from single pits to twin pits. This may be done as part of the ongoing campaign of retrofitting from single pits to twin pits.
The Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) Report 2021-22 suggests some gaps in toilets and hand washing facilities. The Centre has asked states that all these gaps need to be filled by following the saturation approach.
Further, hand washing facilities with the provision of soap may be created in all the schools. It is also essential that hygiene education is imparted to the children on all aspects of hygiene. For this purpose, at least one teacher in each school must be trained in hygiene education who in turn should train the children through interesting activities and community projects that emphasize hygienic behaviour. A chapter on Swachhta has been included in supplementary material at the primary level developed by NCERT to inculcate good hygiene practices in the schools.
The advisory also mentioned that under Jal Jeevan Mission, making provision for safe tap water supply in schools, Anganwadi centres, and Ashram Shalas is a top priority of the Government for ensuring the good health and well-being of our children.
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This critical intervention was launched in a campaign mode on October 2, 2020, aimed at bringing focus to the public health dimension of young children through the assured supply of safe drinking water, especially during times of pandemic. So far, as per UDISE+ 2021-22 data, out of around 10.22 lakh Government schools, a functional drinking water facility has been provided in 9.83 lakh [96% approx.) government schools.
The advisory mentioned that flexibility has been given to the State/UTs to provide stand-alone piped water supply solutions instead of waiting for the completion of the village water supply infrastructure for the Schools and simple sustainable solar solutions may also be provided.
The Centre asked States to fast-track these projects in view of the importance of safe water for the overall health and well-being of our children.
Any requirement of funds for the repair or construction of toilets, hand washing facilities or drinking water may be met from funds being released under the 15th Finance Commission, State Finance Commission, MGNREGS, District Mineral funds and any other sources, following the extant guidelines of these schemes/sources.
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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.