Toilets for the Girl Child

Globally, waterborne diseases kill more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Waterborne diseases are caused due to the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. It is estimated that annually, about 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases. Out of this, 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhoea alone.

The statistics are more alarming at the school level. In India, only 58.82% schools have separate toilets for girls. Some schools have only a single toilet, which is not clean. Single toilets increase the risk of not only disease transmission, but also sexual harassment. Many girls opt to drop out of school due to the lack of proper toilet facilities. It is especially true in the case of adolescent girls who skip school for five to six days every month, during menstruation. This hampers their education and leads them to drop out of school completely. The school completion rates are just 34% for girls, compared to 49% for boys. Proper sanitation facilities in schools are critical for improving the rate of completion of studies at school for the girls.

DA has initiated work on water, sanitation and hygiene in schools, to address these issues. DA has worked in more than 120 schools in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chennai. We have a two-fold approach for solving the problem of sanitation in schools. On one hand, we construct or refurbish the toilet facilities and on the other, we influence behaviour of school children to adopt and maintain these facilities. A behavioural change communication package on WASH has been designed for schools. The package consists of communication tools such as training manuals, mascots, activities and wall messages. All the communication has been designed in a manner that students get trained in schools and take the message forward to the community, for further action.

Till date, more than lakh girls have gained access to toilet facilities in schools, through DA initiatives.


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Wash In Schools

By Supporting good health, hygiene and dignity at this formative stage in a child's life,the Jochnick-TARA WASH in Schools programme yields multiple dividends such as: Reduction in drop-out rate especially of girl children, Promoting gender equality by fostering a sanitation structure for girl child.

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WASH in Schools

According to the National Family Health Survey, in India, out of the approximate 0.63 million rural schools, only 44% have water supply facilities. A majority of the schools in India lack basic sanitation facilities; only 50% of government schools have toilets and 4 out of 10 government schools do not have separate toilets for girls.


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Globally waterborne diseases, caused by lack of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, kill more young children than AIDS, Malaria and Measles combined

The statistics are even more frightening at the school level. In India, 58.82% of all schools have separate toilets for girls. Some schools only have a single toilet which is not clean and this carries not only the risk of disease but the risk of sexual harassment.  This results in girls opting to drop out of school, particularly adolescent girls, who may lack access to proper toilet facility especially during menstruation. Due to unavailability of toilets in schools they skip school every month during menstruation for about 5 or 6 days and later this leads to dropping out of school completely.3  The female and male school completion rates are just 34% for girls and 49% for boys. Proper sanitation facilities in the schools help in improving the girl’s completion rates in the schools.

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