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 Children  India Project #21034

You Can Give Kids in India Clean Water

by Splash
You Can Give Kids in India Clean Water
Photo by Shivam Pandey
Photo by Shivam Pandey

Splash has been focusing on our water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) intervention at ten residential and day-boarding schools, benefitting 1,965 of the region’s poorest and most vulnerable children. The residential school system was started to serve urban kids from extremely poor households - kids like Hiran, an eighth grader at Rani Bhabani School. 

Hiran is one of the boarders at the school and lives there with 90 other students. Rani Bhabani is their second home where they live most of the year. Hiran has one younger brother who studies at another residential school in Dumdum. His parents are day laborers that used to live in a slum a few years ago. Now they live in a housing complex for poor households with support from the government.

In his free time, Hiran and his friends play games and sports, like carom, cricket, and football. Hiran especially loves working in the library and has a special knack for managing the library’s books. He takes care of library management at the school and maintains a register to keep a track of the books going out and coming in every day. In addition to his work in the library, Hiran’s favorite subject is mathematics. To him mathematics is like magic - a wonderful mystery with fascinating results. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, he glows with confidence and says he would like to become a mechanical engineer.

Because of the support from donors like you, Hiran’s school is clean. Hiran has seen an increase in handwashing, a reduction in water misuse, and has developed a greater understanding of his rights. He’s had fun playing the different hygiene education games with Splash staff and learning about safe water and hygiene practices. But, most importantly, he notes: “Look everywhere. It’s so clean.”          

Filling up her water bottle
Filling up her water bottle

School profile for work completed at Shastriji Harijan Vidya Mandir School in Kolkata, India. 

Scope of Work: Water, sanitation, & hygiene

Site Demographic: Co-education

Girls Served Daily: 99

Boys Served Daily: 106

Location Shastriji Harijan Vidya Mandir is located in east Kolkata in the Tangra neighborhood. Over the past few decades, Kolkata’s “Chinatown” has developed in Tangra, making the area diverse in culture. The school campus sits near many banks, the local library, and post-office.

Student and School Description Shastriji Harijan Vidya Mandir share the same school campus. They use the same school building and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure.

The school is predominantly attended by first generation learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. Tangra is largely populated with people who migrated from poverty-ridden and caste-ridden villages, in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They found work in the tanneries and factories, and also engaged in manual labor.

Pre-Splash Conditions Before Splash’s intervention, the students' knowledge and practice of hygiene was very poor. As a government school, a mid-day meal was served, yet there was no system of enforcing compulsory handwashing beforeeatingorafterusingthetoilet.The school had an old water filter to help decrease the amount of bacteria found in Kolkata’s municipal water lines, however, it badly needed to be replaced.

The toilet conditions were also in need of drastic improvements. The toilets were in bad shape and the stall doors did not provide privacy.The restrooms were described as being dark, dingy, and very unhygienic.

Activities Performed To Date:

Water: 

Splash installed:

  • One AquaSphere 1000 ultra-filtration system
  • One drinking station (two taps) to facilitate access to drinking water
  • Two handwashing stations (four taps) have also been installed to encourage clean hands and proper hygiene
  • Water quality tests have been conducted to ensure clean water stays flowing

Behavior Change:

Hygiene knowledge has significantly increased at theschool as a result of:

  • Student-led Hygiene Club formed with 35 members who help ensure their peers stay excited about hygiene
  • Hygiene trainings with all teachers,staff,and members of the Hygiene Club
  • A soap drive event where 31 bars of soap were collected

Sanitation:

Sanitation facilities were made more child and girl-friendly by:

  • Renovating the shared toilets and ensuring that global standards are met for safety, privacy, cleanliness, ventilation, and accessibility
  • Providing continuous access to water for flushing and installing waste binsfor better menstrual hygiene management
Handwashing with soap
Handwashing with soap

Next month, Splash's Seattle office is hosting two of our leaders from India: Dora Chaudhuri, Country Director, and Manish Joshi, Director for Project WISE (WASH-in-Schools for Everyone).  They will spend valuable face time with colleagues to plan the launch of Project WISE, an initiative to reach every government school in Kolkata, India and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with WASH infrastructure (water storage, filtration systems, drinking and handwashing stations, and improved toilet facilities), behavior change programs for children and adults, and strengthened menstrual health services for girls aged 10 and above.

In Kolkata, Splash has reached 194 schools serving 55,985 children. Through Project WISE, we will reach approximately 450 schools serving nearly 500,000 children by 2023.

Splash's efforts in Kolkata will benefit even more children at schools like Paik Para Raja Manindra Memorial Primary & Higher Secondary Schools. These schools serve over 400 kids who previous to our intervention had to deal with broken taps, dirty, leaking toilets, and no access to hygiene education.

Because of your support, these schools now have a functional ultra-filtration system that removes 99.999% of the bacteria from their water. They have two drinking water stations with six taps and one handwashing station with two taps that help keep the kids healthy, as well as sparkly clean new sanitation facilities that are well-lit and provide privacy. Splash also helped form an active child cabinet and trained twenty focal teachers that have spread hygiene messaging across their schools. The fifty-three active student hygiene club members help keep their schools clean and encourage their peers to practice healthy behaviors.

This fall the highly motivated child cabinet decided to hold a rally with placards in the surrounding community. The placards carried messages about health and hygiene. They also spoke to members in the community to spread awareness about good health and hygiene practices. The awareness messages were aligned with the things they learned from Splash during their hygiene training.

This dedication and leadership would not have been possible without your support. Our goal is to create a shift in society where communities will expect, demand, and obtain safe water and decent toilets, as a basic human right. Efforts like these will help to eventually ensure access to safe, reliable, and affordable water and sanitation, cornerstones of a thriving and healthy community.

We are excited to expand our impact through the help of corporate, foundation, and government partners - and donors like you!

In 2018, Splash increased its impact in Kolkata, India to 55,985 kids served daily with clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets. Kids like Subhadra, a student at one of Kolkata's residential schools. 

The residential school system was started to serve urban, homeless kids. Often these children are from, extremely poor households or are orphaned. Many have also suffered abuse. These schools not only act as education centers, but also serve as protection systems for youth, especially girls. 

Subhadraa tenth grader who started attending the Behala Balika Vidyapith residential school in Kolkata this year after mother could not afford her education expenses. Her mother is a government welfare program worker and her father is a truck driver. She has three sistersThe eldest is pursuing her nursing degree. Her middle sister is in twelfth grade and the youngest is in second grade. Subhadra and her sisters have had a difficult childhood. Her father is an alcoholic and has been abusive, making it hard for them to continue their studies.  

During her free time, she enjoys playing Kabaddi. Signing is also very close to her heart and she sings at school functions whenever she gets a chance. While her favorite subject is history, ultimately, Subhadra aims to be a police officer to curb violence against women, like the violence she has witnessed her mother endure. She dreams of working hard for her family and building a home for her mother, who has struggled all her life.  

Despite these distractions, Subhadra is a quick learner and is very responsible with the roles assigned to her. Her engagement as the Assistant Prime Minister of the Splash Hygiene Club at her school has been instrumental to her educational development and provided her with an avenue to develop leadership skills. Subhadra and the other students meet on a regular basis to discuss how to improve the hygiene conditions in the school and regularly conduct cleaning parties.  

She feels that the school has progressed a lot in terms of health and hygiene. The corridors and staircases are cleaner. There are more dustbins in the school and children do not litter the toilets and the classrooms like before. Under her leadership, the club has grown and has divided themselves into seven groups. Each group takes up a task each day. During weekends, they also clean the playground and the surroundings of the school.  

With support from donors like youSubhadra has not only gained access to clean water, hands and toilets, but she has also gained valuable leadership skills 

Thank you for making a difference in Subhadra’s life! 

Thanks to a summer campaign hosted by Omstars, MiiR, yoga star Kino McGregor, and 8,823 compassionate yogis who participated in the #HandstandMechanicsChallenge, Splash will ensure clean water flows from taps, kids are washing their hands with soap, and that students have access to safe and sanitary restrooms at two schools in one of the biggest, toughest cities on the planet – Kolkata, India. We will dramatically improve the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions for over 300 kids, thereby enhancing their dignity, health, and educational success!

Bastuhara Vidyapith Primary School and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan High School share a campus in Kolkata’s Tangra neighborhood. Tangra is being rapidly transformed by population growth and construction. The number of high-rises has increased and as a result, the property prices in this area are quite high, resulting in pockets of slums in between high-rise towers where many of the students live. The school campus is situated close to the Dhapa landfill – the biggest dump in the city, which operates at unsustainable rates today.

Both Bastuhara Vidyapith and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan lack adequate infrastructure to provide their students with clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets. While water is widely available at school, it is typically contaminated with e. Coli and other water-borne illnesses. In a 2015 independent citywide survey of 1,650 government schools in Kolkata, Splash discovered:

  • 95% of Kolkata’s public schools had access to water
  • 94% of schools lacked soap for handwashing
  • 33% of toilets had no water for flushing
  • 35% of toilets had no door or lock for privacy

To combat these alarming figures, Splash has developed an innovative WASH-in-Schools model that includes: 

  1. Installing the enabling infrastructure, including water filtration, water storage to ensure access, handwashing and drinking water stations, and child-friendly sanitation facilities.  
  2. Delivering behavior change programmes for children and adults. This includes training focal teachers through an engaging, activity-based curriculum and supporting them to instruct student hygiene clubs on how to engage their peers in positive behaviours such as handwashing.  
  3. Creating a WASH ecosystem to ensure programme sustainability. This includes co-investment from schools and government, operations and maintenance training for school janitorial staff, school incentives through recognition programs, engaging parents through soap drives, and building local supply chains to ensure availability of spare parts and repair services. 
  4. Conducting routine monitoring and evaluation of project sites. To ensure continuous learning and program improvement, Splash conducts pre and post-intervention assessments at each school, followed by five years of routine monitoring, twice per year.

Because of companies like MiiR, members of the Global Giving community, and all the caring, kind, and motivated yogis out there, together, we will be able to help hundreds of more kids stay healthy, excel in school, and unlock their full potential. With your support, kids at schools like Bastuhara Vidyapith and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan can thrive! We've already reached 10% of government schools in Kolkata, and are on track to reach 100% full coverage by 2023, we hope you will join us on this journey.

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Organization Information

Splash

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Splash_org
Project Leader:
Molly Parus
Dev. Assistant
Seattle, WA United States

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