WaterAid India and its partner Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) has been working in Raichur district, Karnataka since April 2014. Over the years, the WASH in Schools (WinS) programme has been able to establish a strong partnership with the education department and community members.
As part of the district-wide approach, SVYM intends to reach out to all schools in Raichur block of the district. With approximately 232 schools in the block, SVYM developed various information, education and communication (IEC) products that are used to disseminate relevant information in the schools, as well as also to advocate for various issues linked to water, sanitation, and hygiene, in association with the education department and district administration.
Child Cabinets and School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMCs) were formed as an initial step in every school. Various mobilisation activities were taken up to promote WASH in Schools through these mandated institutions. Capacity building activities to the mandated institutions were conducted which included sessions on roles and responsibilities, development of school WASH plans, O&M of WASH infrastructure, various hygiene messages. Hygiene promotion is also being done in the schools involving the teachers and students.
Cleanliness drives are taken up in the schools by involving all the students. Kitchen gardens are also promoted, wherein the students grow their own vegetable that can be used in the mid-day meal programme. As an encouragement and to share best practices, exposure visits are organized to the best schools. This resulted in cross-learning and scale-up of best initiatives among various schools.
To promote ownership, accountability, and transparency, IEC charts of child cabinets and SDMCs are developed and displayed in all the schools. These charts comprise information about the members and their roles and responsibilities. Contact details of SDMC members are also provided in these charts. This was a welcome change among students as it promoted a healthy competitive spirit, and the charts also had the photographs of the child cabinet members. This process has been highly appreciated by the education department.
In addition to the above charts, SVYM has designed a WASH charts as well. Information related to various infrastructure and practice gaps would be filled and displayed in all the schools. Basis this information, the SDMCs along with the teachers would jointly develop the School Development Plans (SDPs), by incorporating all the activities and financial requirement for O&M as well as the WASH infrastructure creation or repair and use. At present, nearly 80% of schools have developed SDPs based on these charts.