Swachh Vidyalaya Purashkar (SVP) for 26 schools by Rajasthan Council of Secondary Education and UNICEF Rajasthan
05, August 2022
With an aim to make WASH in Schools Child-friendly, Gender Sensitive & Geo-climate Responsive, the Rajasthan Council of Secondary Education and UNICEF Rajasthan on Friday organised a state-level award function and workshops and also distributed awards to schools at Swachh Vidyalaya Purashkar (SVP) Function 2021-22.
Out of 1,00,000 schools in Rajasthan, around 66,000 had participated in SVP, where 406 schools were nominated by all districts, and the state chose 26 such schools were given awards at state level workshop and award function conferred by the Rajasthan Council of Secondary Education and UNICEF Rajasthan. Also, four districts, Jhunjhunu, Ajmer, Bara, and Chittorgarh, were awarded as best performing districts.
Speaking at the event, Mohan Lal Yadav, SPD, Rajasthan Council of Secondary Education, highlighted the role of WASH and cleanliness in schools initiated by UNICEF in Rajasthan and stressed that in coming years department must ensure 100 % participation in SVP and achieve 1st rank in such campaigns.
“Behavior change is one of the most important aspects which can lead to the proper operation and maintenance/cleanliness of WASH infrastructure and create demand for the same to ensure safe and clean schools in Rajasthan. It is our responsibility as education departments at district and school level to use the money efficiently towards WASH aspects, and one should motivate their teams to focus on SVP indicators also” .Mr. Yadav
Hailing the work of UNICEF in Rajasthan to create awareness about cleanliness and sanitation, Mr. Pawan Kumar Goyal, ACS Department of Education, said that the importance of WASH is something that has been seen as an integral part of our culture for ages, and UNICEF has been with us all along and will work on these aspects in a collaborative manner.
“There is a need to change the behavior aspects towards cleanliness as this is everyone’s responsibility and needs to be embedded again in our culture which needs to be taught at schools. Create an enabling environment in schools towards cleanliness so that they see and learn these aspects and create mass awareness for the same”,Mr. Goyal
Mr. Goyal also urged the education department to play an essential role in making children aware of these components and trigger them in them so they can be future leaders in clean and green schools.
Briefing upon the National perspective focusing on climate change and sustainability, Marije Broekhuijse, WASH Specialist UNICEF Delhi, said that children are our change agents, and we need to make them aware of blue and green schools where they can learn aspects of the environment, WASH and can gain timely skills to apply for green Jobs.
“We must ensure that the aspect of climate change and doable solutions mentioned above shall be planned, implemented and monitored by child cabinets/ monitors, which will help them adapt these small but impactful measures being taken towards climate change and WASH,” she added.
“We are unable to see climate change on a daily life basis but the impact of the same can be felt and worse than COVID-19, especially for our nation which is vulnerable to climate change. Climate change also impacts the overall WASH components by affecting the availability and accessibility of WASH services (water/sanitation/hygiene – examples of managing the same are reusing grey water /kitchen garden / composting of biodegradable waste/menstrual waste management) keeping in mind providing environment-friendly solutions.”Marije Broekhuijse, WASH Specialist UNICEF Delhi
Nine states, such as Bihar, Chattisgarh, and Maharashtra, are working closely with NDMA on schools' safety programs where climate resilience is also being included in the future. She urged that topics such as water budgeting can be included in the school curriculum, which will also help children develop the skills required to act on the same.
According to the UDISE data, 96% have some hand washing facility in schools, and 90% of toilets are found functionality in schools.
One of the important climate-responsive practices in Rajasthan rainwater harvesting shall be scaled up in the state, especially in desert-dominated districts of the state.
Speaking about the need to work towards gender-sensitive toilets and climate resilient WASH infrastructure, Mr. Rushabh Hemani, WASH Specialist UNICEF Rajasthan added, “SVP has helped us in identifying critical components of WASH which should be in a school and also helped us in identifying the key gaps and challenges.”