Rs 113cr plan to provide water, toilets to schools | Kolkata News

Kolkata: An international NGO that has been working to improve sanitary facilities at public schools in Kolkata since 2012 plans to spend Rs 96 billion over the next two and a half years on installing water filtration systems, drinking and hand washing stations, and improved toilets and urinals in 1,200 state schools as part of the Sarva Siksha Mission, in which 4 lakh students are enrolled.
Interventions are also conducted that include the provision of hygiene education and menstrual health training through central teachers and children’s closets.
“The interventions are designed to create a long-term behavioral change among stakeholders,” said Manish Joshi, Country Director of Splash India. Splash International is headquartered in Seattle, USA.
The Rs 113 WISE (WASH-in-Schools for Everyone) program launched in 2019 to provide clean drinking water, hand washing and upgraded toilets in all state and civic schools in the city was interrupted by Covid in 2020 late last year 17.2 billion rupees were spent on providing improved drinking water and sanitation facilities in 194 schools where 84,000 children study.
This year the program will be expanded to include 130 more schools, where over 50,000 children are studying. The rest of the schools will be covered in 2022 and 2023.
“In the context of the current pandemic, the program is helping the state implement guidelines for healthy and hygienic conditions in schools for their reopening,” Joshi said, adding that this will result in healthier students and improved school attendance, especially for girls.
The NGO currently works in eight countries in Asia and Africa – Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. Kolkata is the second city after Adis Ababa where the WASH program is implemented in all schools. Splash has also played a key role in providing access to safe drinking water in all orphanages across China.
After the implementation of the program in Kolkata, the organization intends to replicate the “WASH in School” model in collaboration with other NGOs and state and local governments across India.

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