Assessing the Importance of Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: A Case Study Of Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign, Sanchita Mehrotra, Prof. Dr. Govind Ji Pandey.

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Assessing the Importance of Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: A Case Study Of Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign, Sanchita Mehrotra,  Prof. Dr. Govind Ji Pandey.


Health and education are critical for generating economic growth, creating jobs, and raising

people's well-being. Education is critical for an individual's overall development, and hence,

school is the first step in acquiring knowledge in various subjects and nurturing core values and

skills in children as learners. Understanding the importance of education, it is commonly

recognized that a child's first learning experience outside of the home occurs at school. As a

result, maintaining proper school hygiene becomes essential for a child's overall development in

any country.

A successful school is one that provides its student with a safe and healthy environment.

According to the survey, nearly 22% of Indian schools do not even have sufficient toilets for

girls, whereas 58% of preschools do not have any toilets at all (Rapid Survey on Children 2013-

14). As per the study, nearly 56% of preschools do not have source of water in the premises.

According to the fast survey, one of the primary challenges in rural India is water quality, as

many schools lack adequate water treatment facilities for testing for contaminants like iron,

arsenic, or fluoride.

WASH places a strong emphasis on teaching basic sanitation and hygiene to communities and

schoolchildren, with a special emphasis on girls' education and gender equality. According to

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studies, a quarter of all girls in Indian schools took time off because they were menstruating due

to the lack of gender-specific restrooms and sanitary pads in schools. Source (Liverpool School

of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Liverpool, UK and UNICEF 2014-15 ). Human health and well-

being are dependent on safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. Safe water and sanitation

are not only necessary for good health, and they also contribute to livelihoods, school attendance,

dignity, and the creation of resilient communities in healthy settings.

Advances in service levels toward safely managed drinking water or sanitation, such as regulated

piped water or connection to sewers with wastewater treatment, were shown to improve health

by reducing diarrheal disease mortality.

World Health Organisation works with partners on promoting effective risk assessment and

management practices for sanitation in communities and health facilities through the WHO

Guidelines on Sanitation and Health, Safe Use of Wastewater, Recreational Water Quality and

promotion of Sanitation Safety Planning.

In 2017, 5.3 billion people used safely managed drinking-water services – that is, they used

improved water sources located on-premises, available when needed, and free from


1.1 Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in schools

Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan or Clean India Campaign was launched in the year 2014 by the

Government of India, as a nation wide campaign. The campaign's primary goal was to eliminate

open defecation and enhance solid waste management. With the introduction of the Swachh

Bharat Abhiyaan in 2015, the government of India placed a greater emphasis on school

sanitation. Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya (SBSV) initiative main goal of the launch was to

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ensure that every school in India used to have a set of functioning and well-maintained water,

sanitation, and hygiene facilities. In schools, water, sanitation, and hygiene refers to a mix of

technical and human development components that are required to create a healthy learning

environment and to develop or support appropriate health and hygiene behaviours. The technical

components include drinking water, handwashing, toilet and soap facilities in the school

compound for use by children and teachers. The activities that promote conditions within the

school and the behaviors of children that help to prevent water, hygiene, and sanitation related

diseases are considered human development components.

The SBSV additionally aimed at improving WASH curriculum and teaching methods, as well as

encourage hygiene and community ownership of water and sanitation infrastructure in schools.

UNICEF briefs six essential requirements that make up a good school WASH programme,

as follows:

 Separate toilets for boys and girls; there needs to be adequate, menstrual hygiene

management facilities, private space for changing, adequate water for cloth washing, and

disposal facilities for menstrual waste.

 Sufficient group handwashing facilities allow groups of 10-12 students to wash their

hands at the same time. The handwashing station should be simple, scalable, and

sustainable, relying on minimum water.

 Daily provision of child-friendly and sustainable safe drinking water and adequate water

for handwashing. Besides, the provision of safe water for school cleaning and food

preparation and cooking. Safe handling and storage of drinking water should be practiced

throughout the school.

 All water, sanitation, and handwashing facilities need to be clean, functional, and well

maintained to ensure that the intended results are achieved, and monetary investments

made in installing these systems are not lost.

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 Water, sanitation, and hygienic behaviour change communication activities should be

part of the daily routine of all children. Girls are to be taught menstrual hygiene

management by female teachers in a sensitive and supportive manner.

 Capacities are to be improved at various levels within the sector, to develop the right mix

of skills, knowledge, and experience to help, finance, manage and monitor water,

sanitation, and hygiene programmes in schools effectively.

1.2 Linking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene with health

In international development, access to WASH is seen as a crucial public health issue which is

affordable, universal, and long-term. The first two aims of Sustainable Development Goal 6 are

all about water and sanitation. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized access

to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right and called for international

efforts to help countries to provide safe, clean, accessible, and affordable drinking water and


World Health Organisation highlights the importance of water and sanitation in Sustainable

Development Goal target 6.1 and 6.2. SDG 6.1 aims for universal, equitable, and affordable

access to safe drinking water. The indicator "safely managed drinking water services" is used to

track the target, which means drinking water from an upgraded on-premises water source that is

available when needed and free of faecal and priority chemical contamination. SDG 6.2 aims for

everyone to have access to adequate and equitable sanitation. The indicator "safely managed

sanitation services" is being used to track the target, which means using a stronger unit of

sanitation facility that is not shared with other households where the excreta produced is either

safely treated in situ or transported and treated off-site.

According to WHO reports, contaminated water and poor sanitation have several ill effects on

the well-being of human life. They are linked to the transmission of diseases such as cholera,

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diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio. Individuals are exposed to preventable health

hazards due to the absence of, inadequate, or mismanaged water and sanitation services. This is

particularly true in health-care facilities, where a lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene services

place both patients and staff at risk of infection and disease.

Inadequate management of urban, industrial, and agricultural wastewater have contaminated or


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