In a mega WASH in Schools (WinS) initiative, RC Madras Central, RID 3232, built a slew of sanitation facilities and renovated classrooms at three government schools, which will benefit around 4,400 students. This is through a mix of global grant ($31,000), CSR funds and member contributions under the first phase of its Happy Schools project.
DG J Sridhar inaugurated three handwash stations (HWS), six RWH wells, a refurbished RO plant, a revamped noon meal area and handed over benches, blackboards and sliding doors at the Chennai Girls HS School, Shenoy Nagar. The club has also redone the electrical wiring, donated a photocopy machine and strengthened the lab facilities at this school with 1,690 students. The project was initiated last year by the club’s IPP Supriya Sundararaman.
Addressing the meeting, Sridhar urged the students to learn proper handwashing and “go home and inform your parents what the school has taught you about personal hygiene so that your entire family can benefit.” The English medium school is still in need of some more facilities, he noted, and “we will visit the institution again to set up a borewell to replace the defunct one.”
Club advisor and director, special projects, Vinod Saraogi said “proper training on menstrual hygiene will be given to students. The school was referred to us by one of our close associates and the headmistress has extended full cooperation and support in implementing the WinS project. We want this to be a model school and the refurbished noon meal area is one of the highlights of the WASH facilities.” A team from World Vision will give a one-year training to students on proper use and maintenance of HWS, he said. Also, the parent-teacher association has been roped in to facilitate this learning process. The total project cost is around `50 lakh, said Saraogi. Headmistress N Chinnavellaithai, expressed her gratitude to Rotary.
Two more schools
Similar Happy School facilities were inaugurated at the Jaigopal Garodia Government Girls HS School, Ponneri, a Chennai suburb, and the Government HS School, Kathivakkam, by Sridhar. While two toilet blocks, four buildings with 40 classrooms were renovated and pathways between blocks were redone at the Jaigopal School, apart from four new HWS; at the Kathivakkam school, the club renovated 15 classrooms, a girls’ toilet block, provided three HWS and repaired the assembly floor.
In the second phase, the club will install WinS facilities and renovate buildings at three more government schools. RCs Cataraqui-Kingston, RID 7040, Canada, and Medicine Hat, RID 5360, Australia are the global partners.
Club president K A V Ramesh Kumar said, “we are a 40-year-old club with 95 members who have taken up long lasting, sustainable, multifaceted projects.” The Rotary Central VHS Blood Bank has been doing yeoman service for over 30 years and the Rotary Central Prahlad Rai Bone Bank, a $100,000 project done with the Adyar Cancer Institute, preserves the donor bones which are then used for cancer patients, accident victims and surgeries. Assistant educational officer N Thangamani, club secretary Harish Kumar, DRFC M Ambalavanan and other members were present.