India is planning to set up a health and wellness club in all the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools across the country to promote safe sanitation practice, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said Tuesday.
The Annual National Urban School Sanitation Awards(NSSUA) has been instituted by Ministry of Urban Development along with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Central Board of Secondary Education CBSE to inspire, acquaint and celebrate excellence in Urban School Sanitation.
“Health and wellness club will be set up in all schools for better sanitation. Let’s promise for zero tolerance against poor sanitation,” Sibal said after launching the National School Sanitation Initiative.
He said only nine percent of school students wash their hands before eating and these clubs will promote issues like these among students. “They are the future and their good health will help a build a better tomorrow.”
The initiative is a collaboration project between the HRD ministry and the urban development ministry. It is estimated that 17 percent of the urban population in India currently has no access to any sanitation facilities, while 50-80 percent of the waste water is disposed untreated.
Anshu Vaish, secretary school education, said at least 45 percent of Indian schools do not have separate toilets for girls. “This is impacting girl students’ admission and we have a long way to go in improving this situation.”
Initially the health and wellness club will come up in CBSE schools as it is the initiative of the board, Vaish told IANS.
“We will inform all the state boards and if they want all the materials can be translated to desired regional languages.”
S. Jaipal Reddy, who was also present at the event, said safe drinking water and sanitation are part of the millennium development goals and the government is striving to better the situation.
“With this initiative, we will create awareness about sanitation in school level. Students are change agents and we are targeting them,” Reddy added.
We would love to hear your opinion and views on this in the comments below.