Under Rotary’s WinS (WASH in Schools) Target Challenge initiative, ten schools in D 3150 now have cleaner toilets and healthier learning environment. “Wherever the WASH initiative has been implemented girl students are more regular to school,” says PDG Ravi Vadlamani, adding that the district’s partnership with TRF and international Rotary clubs has resulted in the distribution of 60,000 desks and benches to governments schools across Andhra Pradesh.
Through the WASH in Schools Target Challenge programme, Rotarians from the five pilot countries — Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Kenya — are working in partnership with schools, Rotary clubs and districts around the world to achieve key milestones in basic education, water, sanitation and hygiene.
The WASH project was implemented by RC Parchur Central at two schools in villages Upputur and Veerannapalem in Andhra Pradesh. The schools have a strength of 200 students each. The club has constructed gender-segregated toilet blocks at both the schools, and trained the school management committee in improving teaching quality. A reverse osmosis plant was installed in one of the schools. “Children are best sensitised to behavioural changes and environmental issues at school. WinS helps us instill a sense of responsibility and ushers in behavioural change at the same time,” says P Chandra Sekhar Rao, IPP of the club.
The Rotarians of RC Pandaripuram worked with SKBR High School in Ganapavaram village to set up toilets and group handwash station, repaired the water tank and gave a fresh coat of paint to the school. The school has 900 children, including 465 girls. The club’s past president S Bhaskar Reddi says that after the construction of the toilet blocks, many girls who had dropped out because of the lack of a decent toilets are returning to school. “This is what matters to us.”
The other clubs that have constructed toilets and are working on improvising schools in the region, with support from D 6920 and TRF, are Rotary clubs of Piduguralla, Ongole Central, Chimakurthy, Inkollu, Guntur Aadarsh and Chilakaluripet.
To make the project sustainable in all the schools the clubs are providing soap and detergent for one year and have engaged caretakers to maintain the toilets in each school. The clubs have set a benchmark for the quality of water and sanitation facilities, hygiene education and teacher training, so that behaviour change happens in these schools, and they enter the Star Clubs league soon.
Successful completion of a Rotary One Star project will earn clubs district-level recognition; completion of the Rotary Two and Three Star requirements will earn recognition from Rotary International and UNICEF.