Children, especially young girls, hailing from extremely poor and marginalized families of urban Lucknow have to fetch water for daily needs from nearby water sources and finish other household work before commencing for school regularly.
It’s early morning and Savita, a class 4 student in a Primary School in urban Lucknow can be seen finishing off her household chores in a hurry. She fetches water from the near-by hand pump and helps her mother, a domestic worker in cooking. She then rushes to her school along with her younger brother who studies in class 2. Children like Savita certainly have to face a lot of challenges with no fault of their own.
“There is no proper toilet or drinking water tap in our school. We often have to look for private spaces in the open for loo during school hours,” says Savita.
This is a common sight in almost all of the government primary schools in the capital city of Lucknow. In most of these cases, there is a common water point, usually, a hand pump which is used for both drinking and washing purpose. Even where toilets exist, they are not connected with the water-points meaning that the children have to fetch water if they are to use the toilets (which in many cases are in dilapidated conditions). Moreover, the hygiene factor is the most ignored one as hand washing station in school premises is entirely missing. So, even if key hygiene messages including proper hand-washing before meals and after toilet use are delivered, it is next to impossible to apply them owing to the paucity of functional and adequate water source in schools. This then leads to several illnesses including diarrhoea occurrence, subsequent medical expenses and loss of school days for children.
“We girls, avoid going back home to use the toilets, as we are then involved in household chores, in turn missing out on our studies and school hours,” adds Savita.
“In primary school Mishribagh, for example, all of 155 children are supposed to sit and study in a single room and there is no toilet facility. Similarly, the primary school in Para has only one hand-pump catering to the needs of 123 children (64 boys and 59 girls). These are just a few instances; the problem is spread across most schools, even in the urban parts of the city,” said Deep. Be.The Solution plans of building toilets for five public schools that will support 689 kids.
Help us end the year with one more good deed. Be.The Solution, home-grown hygiene and personal care brand, recently announced its association with Ketto, Asia’s most-visited online crowdfunding platform, to raise funds for building sanitation facilities with Water Aid India at five schools in Lucknow to support 689 students. The campaign plans to raise 2, 50,000 rupees over a period of 31 days. We have 20 days left to help make this a reality. With every donation we make, Be.The Solution is matching it one for one.
Pledge your support here.