Rotary India WinS Program is a pan India campaign initiated by Rotary in India in support of the national campaign “Swachh Bharat : Swachh Vidyalya” launched by HRD Ministry under “Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan” initiated by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A key feature of the campaign is to ensure that government schools in India have a set of functioning and well maintained water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
It aims to improve the curriculum and teaching methods while promoting hygiene practices and community ownership of water and sanitation facilities within schools.
It improves children's health, school enrolment, attendance and retention and paves the way for new generation of healthy children. WASH in Schools helps fulfil the universal right to education and health and meets its role in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, thereby increasing access to primary education,
reducing child mortality, advancing gender equality and meeting targets for improving water and sanitation. Water, sanitation and hygiene in schools refers to a combination of technical and
human development components that are necessary to develop and support appropriate health and hygiene behaviour among children leading to a healthy school environment.
The technical components include drinking water, handwashing, toilet and soap facilities in the school compound for use by children and teachers. The human development components are the activities that promote
conditions within the school and the practices of children that help to prevent water, hygiene and sanitation related diseases.
Key Elements of WASH in Schools
- Upgradation of sanitation facilities in schools including the construction of child friendly separate toilets for boys and girls wherever required and repairs of existing sanitation
- Sufficient group handwashing facilities with soap for students wherein groups of 10-12 students can wash hands at the same time.
- Child friendly Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) facilities including private space for changing and disposal of menstrual waste.
- Daily provision of child-friendly and sustainable safe drinking water and adequate water for handwashing.
- Provision for regular supply of cleaning materials & consumables to ensure that the WASH facilities are clean and well maintained.
- Activities and programs for staff & school children to promote the correct use & maintenance of facilities.
- Behavior Change Communication (BCC) messages integrated in regular curriculum
- Strengthening of Child Cabinet/ School Management Committee (SMC) to lead WASH initiatives.
- Training teachers, SMC, Panchayat, Child Cabinet, parents etc. on the importance of WASH, MHM education, effective facilitation, financing, managing and monitoring of WinS program.
WASH in Schools Target Challenge
The WASH in Schools Target Challenge is a pilot program developed by Rotary International to motivate Rotary clubs to develop sustainable WASH, and education projects using the expertise and resources available through two of Rotary’s areas of focus: basic education and literacy and water and sanitation. The program runs from January 2016 to July 2018 in five countries, all chosen for their strong, active involvement in school sanitation efforts: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Kenya.
The pilot project is conceptually structured using a three-star (three-level) implementation and recognition approach, measuring outcomes such as number of schools with sustainable WASH facilities, numbers of students involved, school attendance increase, and behavioral criteria.
This initiative challenges Rotarians to work within two areas of focus (Basic Education & Literacy and Water & Sanitation) by undertaking WASH projects in Government schools that structure both the infrastructure needs and creates behavioral change resulting in greater educational outcomes.
Recognition Levels: A Three-Star Approach
The pilot challenges the Rotary clubs to work together with schools for WASH to reach three levels of achievements. The first two levels (Rotary One Star and Rotary Two Stars) set benchmarks for water and sanitation facility upgrades, hygiene education, and teacher training, along with key behavior-change components; the third level (Rotary Three Stars) emphasizes incorporation into government initiatives and enhancements to the curriculum. 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.
Group Handwashing is a path breaking innovation that can potentially improve the education and health outcomes of 110 million children who have mid-day meal daily, across India. Group Handwashing ensures that all children wash hands in 'groups', stand facing each other, exchange positive messages, make 'eye to eye' contact and enjoy the process.
Handwashing with soap before the government-supplied Mid-day Meal (MDM) is important because children are most energetic, enthusiastic and open to new ideas and change. As powerful agents of behavioral change, children can take lessons they have learned at school back home to teach their parents, siblings and elders on good hygiene behaviors such as handwashing with soap.
- Washing hands with soap at two critical times – after using the toilet and before eating food – reduces the incidence of diarrhea by an average of 30 per cent.
- Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) by more than 20 per cent.
- Handwashing promotion in schools can play a role in reducing the number of days children miss school.
- Handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective interventions to prevent diarrhea-related deaths and disease.
- By washing hands with soap children get the nutritional benefits intended, rather than ingesting bacteria, germs and viruses.