Life just got a lot easier for the students of Chennai Middle School at Thiruvalluvarpet at St. Mary’s Road. For quite some time, the 30 odd KG students there have been managing with one toilet. They don’t have to anymore. Six urinals each, for boys and girls, were recently set up.
An initiative made possible by NGO Maitri, which supports the school by providing volunteers and educational resources, and Sanitation First.
The chairperson of NGO Maitri Uma Venkat says, “We wanted to do something for these toddlers and so we told the school authorities about Sanitation First India, an NGO whose chief executive is Padmapriya Bhaskaran. They came over and set up the toilets and took care of the funding too”.
Padmapriya Bhaskaran says, “When we were first approached, there was only one usable western toilet for all the boys and girls in the Kindergarten section. All of them had to use the toilet within a span of 15 minutes during their break, the girls were taken first followed by the boys. In addition to this being a time consuming process, it screamed of poor public health and hygiene for the children. So we decided to construct separate child friendly urinals for each. We also put up two hand wash centres, one for the KG students and another for the older children”.
The project was funded by Sanitation First UK, along with other donors in India and UK, says Padmapriya. “We are not a funding agency. If more individuals and corporates come forward to support us, we can put up toilets in other schools and anganwadi centres”, she adds.
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