Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya is the national campaign driving ‘Clean India: Clean Schools’. A key feature of the campaign is to ensure that every school in India has a set of functioning and well-maintained water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. Water, sanitation and hygiene in school aims to make a visible impact on the health and hygiene of children through improvement in their health and hygiene practices, and those of their families and the communities. It also aims to improve the curriculum and teaching methods while promoting hygienic 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. It is the role of policymakers, government representatives, citizens and parents to make sure that every child attends a school that has access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities. This is every child’s right.
A massive cleanliness drive was started in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ballygunge, Kolkata last year as part of Swacchata Abhiyan. The school itself is nestled within the Ballygunj Military Camp which has tall trees and greenery in all forms all around. Principal Shri P.C. Mohapatra says, the school emphasizes on maintaining a clean and hygienic environment in and around the school premises. All the students and teachers compulsorily participate in cleaning of the classrooms and campus at least once at the end of every month. The students have been taught to maintain cleanliness of their school and whenever they come across any waste paper or garbage lying anywhere, they pick it up and throw in the bin.
Shri Mohapatra further says, almost every day during morning assembly sessions, the students are encouraged by the teachers to be clean and maintain a clean surrounding.
The students felt encouraged on listening to Honourable Prime Minister’s Mann Ki Baat programme which is broadcast in the school for them and have vowed to participate and contribute in the ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission. In order to take on the cleanliness drive in an organized manner, they have student committees in every class headed by a prefect nominated by them.
There also exist teachers’ committees to guide them and show them the correct path. Shri Mohapatra stated that the day before 2nd October (which is a holiday), the students and teachers had participated in a massive cleanliness mission within the campus. All the students of all grades regularly and enthusiastically contribute towards keeping their school clean and hygienic.
The administration here takes special care to ensure that every toilet in the school has liquid soap and towels. The conservancy staffs ensure the premises are regularly swept. They also see to it that stagnant water where mosquitoes breed does not accumulate in and around the campus. Mosquito repellent sprays and bleaching powder are regularly used. The school building has recently been given a fresh coat of paint too. The campus is beautified with potted plants. The Prinicipal Shri Mohapatra declared that the school is committed towards the vision and mission of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India of building up a clean, hygienic and disease-free environment.
– By Dr. H.R.Keshavamurthy,Director & Sriyanka Chatterji,Information Assistant. PIB, Kolkata