Sanitation And Behaviour Change
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Havells India Limited
Sanitation and behaviour change
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Sanitation & behavior change:
Open defecation is one of the biggest challenges faced by the country and availability of toilets especially in rural government schools is scarce. Most of the times the girl child is forced to leave the school or miss her studies due to non-availability of toilets in the school. With this background, in 2014, we started building bio-toilets in the schools where we served mid-day meal. Since then we have built over 1800 bio-toilets in over 220 government schools in Alwar district of Rajasthan.
While building toilets is one thrust of making India open defecation free, we realized that just building the required infrastructure does not guarantee use or implementation of healthy practices. Not only it is important to generate awareness about hygiene and proper sanitation practices to help make the endeavor sustainable but also a change of perception and behavior amongst the target masses for a better and brighter future was equally important. Havells envisioned WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Program in almost 100 Government Schools of Alwar where the ecofriendly bio toilets have already been constructed. The program aims at making school children aware of the importance of sanitation and to bring about a change so that they can incorporate good hygiene standards and practices for better health and community hygiene. Also they could encourage others in their homes and social groups to adopt hygienic practices. This was launched in the august presence of DM of Alwar, Sh. Muktanand Agarwal.
We aim to build similar toilets in about 250 schools by end of the FY 16-17. The specialty of these toilets is that they do not need any sewage system. The four layer system works on a bacteria created by DRDO which converts human waste into methane gas and the water that comes out is almost 90% pathogen free which could be used for gardening or ground water recharge. These modular toilets are built with concrete that are easy to install and are more durable than conventional toilets.
Not only building and behaviour change are important, most toilets in government schools lack maintenance and hence over a short period of time are not fit to be used. We understood this problem and have started providing funds to schools for the upkeep of these bio-toilets. We closely monitor the cleanliness of these toilets and have recently announced the annual award for the best clean toilet.
With the prime objective of long term use of bio-toilets by children and ensure that the girl child does not leave the school due to non-availability of toilets. Other prime objectives were:
1. Build eco-friendly bio-toilets
2. Work on behaviour change amongst students and teachers
3. Ensure upkeep of these toilets
Since we cater to numerous blocks, villages it is difficult to put the number.