Rotary Club of Delhi Ashoka, D 3012, with support from RC Box Hill Central, D 9810, Australia, renovated existing toilets, built new ones and provided handwash facilities in a school at Gejha near Noida. The project, costing $30,000, has been implemented with TRF’s global grant and is one of the 11 government schools the club aims to modernise, in partnership with an Australian partner. World Vision India is supporting the project for capacity building.
The infrastructure addition was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Culture and Environment Mahesh Sharma, in the presence of Unicef India WASH Specialist Pratibha Singh, TRF Trustee and WinS Target Challenge Committee Chair Sushil Gupta, Committee Member Ramesh Aggarwal and Mark Balla of RC Box Hill Central. PDG Sharat Jain, DGE Subhash Jain, DGN Deepak Gupta and DGND Alok Gupta also participated.
The Rotarians equipped the toilets with ramps for easy accessibility of differently-abled children, beautified the school with better flooring, a fresh coat of paint and rebuilt the compound wall. A Bal Sansad was formed where children spread the message of health and hygiene and ensured its practice among their classmates. Children, as agents of change, took the message home to inspire their parents and neighbours on hygienic practices and persuade them to build toilets and stop open defecation. “I was surprised to note the upsurge in attendance and we are also getting several enquiries for new admissions for the next academic year, thanks to the Rotarians,” said School Principal Hariyali Srivastav. Teachers were also trained to supervise and educate the children.
Complimenting the clubs’ initiative, Trustee Gupta reiterated his concerns for ushering in behavioural change in the society as a whole for a sustained accomplishment. Union Minister Sharma pointed out that the ‘group hand washing’ practice is a path breaking concept which will ensure children learn and promptly follow the handwashing exercise at appropriate times. The club’s initiative should inspire other local schools to seek Rotary’s help for similar interventions, he said.
Updates on WinS
The Rotary Foundation, in consultation with RI Director C Basker and WinS Chair Sushil Gupta, has formed a new committee — the Rotary India National WinS Recognition Committee — replacing the district recognition committees formed earlier in every district. This new structure is designed to streamline communications and provide better support to Rotary clubs interested in the Target Challenge and will be operational till 2020. The team comprises 12 Rotarians — PDGs Raman Aneja, Sarbjeet Singh, R Reghunath, Ganesh G Bhat, Arjit K Endow, Bindu Singh, Ramesh Aggarwal and past presidents Hemant Jagtap and Balasubramaniam, with PDGs Sambasiva Rao Patibandla (D 3150) as Chair, A B Mohapatra (D 3262) the Vice Chair and Ramesh Agrawal (D 3054) the Secretary.
Thirteen of 46 applications from the five Target Challenge countries were shortlisted for Phase
I of the WinS Competitive Grants which involves $10,000 for assessing community needs. The WASH in Schools steering committee has recently shortlisted six districts, of which two — D 3131 and 3211 — are from India, for the second phase funding of $150,000 – 500,000.