This report was provided by our implementing partner, GRAVIS
Water, Health & Sanitation for School Children
The Thar Desert of India is an under-developed and poverty impacted area of Rajasthan State in India. The region suffers severely at the hands of frequent droughts due to extremely scanty and unpredictable rainfall. Many times in lack of proper livelihood options in villages, people migrate in cities and get settle down near to mining sites to get some wage work in stone mines. Jodhpur is such a big place to accommodate thousands of mine workers working in various quarries. In those sites health and education needs of people as well of children are greatly suffered. Though GRAVIS set-up a school near to mine workers habitations but in lack of proper sanitation facility drop-out of girl children was increasing. To meet the education and health needs of these children GRAVIS and H2O for Life co-ventured project to provide health and hygiene environment to school going kids through proving them toilet and water tank facilities and train them of health and hygiene issues.
The programs of GRAVIS are mainly committed towards wellbeing of rural community, particularly marginalized, children, women & elderly. The philosophy, in which GRAVIS believes, focuses on holistic development of villages through water, education and health amenities. Keeping this vision of organization in view, the objectives of the project are:
Project Location & Coverage
The primary school for rural children was constructed in outskirt of Jodhpur at Soorsagar. During the time of construction of school the land was donated by community. The school received support from various donors for construction but toilet was missing in lack of resources. With the support of H2O for Life Schools a tank and two gender segregated toilets have been constructed in schools. After construction, health and hygiene practices among children are improved and this is creating change in their behaviors. Following are the brief details of activities accomplished under project.
Construction of Taanka: One rainwater harvesting tank was constructed near to school with a capacity of 20,000 liters water at a time. School does not have sufficient land to make an artificial catchment therefore roof-top rainwater harvesting is planned to capture rainwater inside the tank. A space is given to install hand pump as well a tap is also given in tank to wash hands or to take water easily for children. The tank water is used for drinking purpose. When there will be no water in tank, it could be easily re-filled through nearest reservoir.
Construction of School Toilets: Gender segregated toilets have been constructed at school to promote sanitation and hygiene among children. These toilets are helping girls to retain at school and enrollment of girls is gradually increasing. Parents are feeling confident to send their girl child to school just because of toilet facility at school. Now 61 students are studying in school and among them 50 % are girls. Two female teachers have appointed in school to encourage more girl children and to reduce their drop out.
Awareness Camps / Trainings: Two health awareness camps were organized at Primary School, Soorsagar. In schools Health and Hygiene camps have done to create awareness about being healthy and practice of healthy and nutritive lifestyle for better and safe living. In health and hygiene sessions, discussion was on overall health of common people. These sessions have widely addressed the seasonal problems of malaria, diarrhea, and many issues related to deficiency of nutrition, benefits of washing hands and importance of use of toilet. Such camps are informative tool to suggest them about importance of health as well about their personal hygiene. In camps, though discussion was on nutritive diet, but it also explained that local available fruits and vegetables are also beneficial to increase our resistance in extreme climate. During camps refreshment and fruits have distributed to children. Children expressed their joy to have it.
Medical Camps: Medical outreach camps have organized at school to diagnose & give immediate relief to school children against common seasonal diseases. 2 camps have organized to improve the health status of children in school. GRAVIS hospital does medical camps in school. These camps are attended by one trained physician, one teacher of school, and one social worker. In camps seasonal diseases, water borne diseases, vitamin A deficiency, fever, cough and colds, eye diseases and other children related problems have been treated. Their parents also appreciated this step because in lack of resources many times they do not visit hospital.