Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

  • Ashok
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Re: Reply: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH

Madam,

It was good to read the post. Only point which I would like to raise is ?If the toilets in schools have been made as per designs and specifications given in the booklet Swachcha Vidyalay, Then I have a string feeling that they will ask for maintenance very soon, over and above the O&M generally provided for. The leach pit provided therein is grossly inadequate for the number of uses it is said to be designed for. Secondly, there is only one leach pit. Once it gets full, we have either to construct a second leach pit immediately or empty this one with raw sludge, not a happy situation.?

Ashok Jain Ph D

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  • nityajacob
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Hi Arundati,

The purpose of shifting the onus for School WASH to the MHRD wasto fix responsibility. Construction and maintenance of school toilets fell between the two stools of education and sanitation, each run by different departments. They seldom spoke to each other. Unfortunately, even as coverage has been reported to be 100%, a dubious claim, maintenance is extremely poor. ASER reports and even DISE data show functionality is a way below par. Visits to schools around India bear this out as they are littered with broken toilets. I went to a school in Chattisgarh some time ago that had a beautiful campus with pucca classrooms, a ramp for disabled children and a nice mid-day meal shed. Tucked in a corner were four toilet blocks. The oldest was about 15 years old and completely decrepit. The others were newer but their decrepitude was in direct proportion to their age. Even the newest made about a year before I went there was locked and its walls were cracked. The children claimed they urinated or defecated in the pond behind the school building. Magnify this a few hundred times and you have the picture of the state, even several states.

While it is now easier to fix responsibility, I don't think the education machinery has stepped up to the plate, so to speak. Funds for school maintenance are laughable. Teachers balk at cleaning toilets, students do not clean them after an uproar several years ago that those from the lower castes were being forced to do so. Schools say maintenance funds are too little to employ sweepers, and they are partly right. The headmasters, teachers and others simply use nearby toilets or go home if they must. This is sidestepping the problem.

All the institutions for school management seem to be engaged with everything but sanitation. SMCs and the like prefer to spend the meagre funds on dire necessities, not toilets or hand washing. The local panchayats I have met in several states shrug off their responsibility for keeping toilets clean. On the ground, therefore, I do not see anything has changed.

One could argue for a sanitation fund for schools but that begs the question - who will ensure it is used. SMCs and panchayats need to engage with sanitation and hygiene. Stricter and clearer instructions would help. Some oversight by education officers is necessary to improve sanitation in addition to ensuring teacher attendance and the adequacy of physical infrastructure.

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Nitya
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  • sunetralala
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

From my experience even though MHRD has taken charge of School WASH, institutions at the grassroots for school management remain the same. The Swachh Vidyalaya mission brought out standards and an evaluation procedure based on self-reporting. However, weak management combined with a lack of funds earmarked for sanitation have always hampered operation and maintenance of toilets, hand washing facilities and hygiene education in schools.

If panchayats, at least in states where they are suitably empowered, are given responsibility for managing School WASH, especially in primary schools, I feel things may improve. Primary schools are the worst-affected as they are small, have very little money and are under-staffed. Middle and high schools are better off since they get more annual funds, though they also have problems in O&M.

I feel the village water and sanitation committees or self-help groups can manage the toilets. Alternately, the agency providing mid-day meals can be tasked to do so.

Regards
Sunetra Lala
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  • kamrun
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Sunetralala,

You are absolutely, right though, Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya (SBSV) a nation mission have been initiated but lot more is required to be taken on right stride. There are lot of gaps between School Management Committee (SMC) and teachers, in turn proper accountability in all front is yet to come up.
Probably 3 major factor are there like.

1. Political will:- Being emerged.
2. Technocrat will:- Yet to come up, it is slow and sluggish
3. Community will:- That requires more and more practices.

Though MHRD has initiated this, hope it is good beginning but not addressing as yet.

with Regards
M S Khan
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  • joshiss
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

For any initiative to be successful it has to become viable. Every initiative I have taken for doing something better technically has hit a roadblock of decision makers and funds. Free of cost trials are appreciated but when it comes to implementation it goes in to cold storage. The people change authorities change and so on.
The scenario is very dynamic. Sanitation initiatives succeed in corporate world or private sector because it has become a need due to Green building certification, pollution norms, awareness etc.
Hope some support can be created to bring this in the said subject also.
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  • kiranfxb
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Arundati,

Yes, the number of schools with toilets has gone up sharply in the last 2 years, but accessibility to children has not improved proportionately. In most schools 2 toilets were constructed that is 1 for male and 1 for female irrespective of number of children in the school and announced 100% coverage. In many cases toilet are mostly locked and only used by the teachers. The teachers also have fair argument that there is no monitory provision to clean them. In few schools there are enough toilets, but no urinals, all children come out at once during break time, and urinate open as there is no specific provision.

When I interacted with school HMs, I understood there is no improvement in specific allotment of funds for cleaning purposes after or before announcement of 100% coverage, I request experts in this panel to educate me if there is any special provision for O& M funds under SV.

Secondly, there is no specific monitoring mechanism of O & M and usage of toilets, I suggest there should be at least a temporary system in SSA with an objective to monitor the usage of toilets and attend the issues promptly to ensure 100% usage of toilets.

Third, but important, in south States children attending Govt. schools is very low, and even poor people in urban areas are opting to send their children to private schools mainly due to distance and poor impression on Govt. offered education. But, these private schools do not even have proper class rooms and today they are in hundreds in any major town. Who is monitoring these schools.

Thanks & regards,
Kiran
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  • sujoymojumdar
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Arundati,

In late 2014, when the Swachh Bharat Mission programme was being developed, for launch on 2nd Oct 2014, the Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation, had to take a call on what to do with 2 components of the earlier rural sanitation program, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) - i.e. School and Anganwadi sanitation - or more correctly providing funds for the construction of toilets in schools and anganwadis.

Under the NBA, Rs. 35000/- was being provided for school toilets an Rs 8000/- for an anganwadi toilet, bothe the amounts were never adequate for building a reasonable structure and the numbers of units of both that were budgeted for were very few each year. The construction used to be done mainly by the Rural Engineering department (RES) or in some states the PHEDs. Neither was the School education department involved in construction and surely not in the O&M.

It was clear to all in the Ministry, that with the launch of the SBM, there will be a huge push towards constructing IHHLs , with the increased incentive of 12000/- per eligible households, and that institutional sanitation will be even more neglected. Also the involvement of the host agency, be it school or anganwadi was desperately needed to ensure usage for the facilities and their upkeep.

The decision to transfer responsibility to the respective Ministries MHRD(SSA) for schools and MWCD for Anganwadis was taken in this light. After initial hesitance , both Ministries agreed to take up the responsibility.

While the school case has been what I would consider a success - with focus on School WASH significantly raised - viz. SBSV (Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya) and SVP (Swachh Vidyalaya puraskar). There is now focus and discussion on O&M. . While i agree that there are issues and innovations are needed especially for resources, technology, service providers etc. - at least the issue are being discussed and solutions sought - something that never happened before and would not have happened if it had remained in the MDWS

For Anganwadis, i agree the story is not satisfactory. The Concerned agencies have yet to take up the issue in the due earnest. However there is now increasing focus on malnutrition happening - and that i hope will bring about change here too.
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  • RaVikas
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Good morning to all determined and passionate members of this forum,

Triad of issues need to be addressed to have a basic need fulfilled.

Government/s must stop providing numbers of toilets built but start provide toilets usable on weekly basis in schools.
This makes toilets functional units and not sample structures akin to cinema sets which are being built today.
The funds provided for toilets is a joke, so let us not discuss that here.

To over come this
Do not build toilets but manufacture toilets which are ready 2 be installed and functional within 1 hour.
When manufactured on large scale two things get streamlined
1. quality of the unit
2. Tied to functionality the units must deliver which is the responsibility of the manufacturer for any unit sold today comes with a minimum warranty period

Have an integrated green revenue stream sewn into fecal sludge management
All schools toilets must provide multiple revenue generation possibility making regular O& M sustainable & affordable (for more details contact me)

Thank you

ravisenji
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  • nityajacob
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear members,

I am sharing a story from the Hindi Water Portal on school WASH from Uttarakhand. This shows how, even though districts have become ODF and all schools (ostensibly) have toilets, huge gaps remain. These place hundreds of students at risk across the country, every day.

Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand was recently declared ODF. A correspondent for the portal visited the Government Intermediate College in Gewla Brahmakal, with 422 students. About 200 are girls. All use the outdoors to relieve themselves. The college has four toilets, the correspondent found, which are all locked. This is not an interior village but is located on the main road to Yamnotri and Gangotri. When they go out to relive themselves, they are marked absent for the full period.

This demonstrates the fallacy of counting numbers. Four toilets, that are locked, are as good as not having toilets. In addition to presence, functionality and usability, the simple indicator of access must be added to the way we look at sanitation.

You can read the full story here .

Regards
Nitya
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  • kiranfxb
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Revisenji,

I am Kiran kumar from NGO called FXB India Suraksha. Can you please explain more on multiple revenue generation model you are talking about?

regards,
Kiran
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  • RaVikas
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Kiran,
good morning,
Thank you for the interest evinced,
Not sure if it will be appropriate to discuss this here.
Kindly connect direct to my email id.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thank you
ravisenji
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  • RaVikas
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Re: Topic 2 - How has shifting responsibility to the Ministry of Human Resource Development affected School WASH (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Good Morning Mr Kiran, Nitya & SUSANA members,

The model developed is for any entrepreneur/ individual who wishes to be involved in sanitation as business.

Broad over view of the program

My units can generate income from these organic wastes to generate feed and fertilizer.

Raw material-All organic wastes-House/Hotels/Markets/Veg/Fruit Processing/Tannery/Fish/Meat/Poultry wastes/Animal wastes/Human wastes/ *Bio Medical wastes.* Not for general public

This business has the capacity to convert all organic wastes mentioned above into feed level materials which fit perfectly into various levels of food chain cycle.

Extracting food sources at multiple levels maximizes the conversion and generates income at various levels.

For example a school with 100 kids & 20 teachers & support staff generates @ 10 kilos of food waste & 3 kilos of human waste daily

The unit generates enough feed & fertilizer to support 10 chicken per week/15 ducks per month /8 goats/per year, apart from@ 2 kilos vegetables & fruits each week year round

This sets into motion, a trade of farm products to table with no investment or transportation.

Based on the above an entrepreneur can expect to harvest & earn from approximately 1 school

250 eggs /year 500 chicken/year 150 ducks/year 8 goats/year 100 kilos of vegetables/fruits

This takes approximately 36 months and broadly grouped into 3 phases.

An entrepreneur by including wet waste collection from students homes/near by homes can convert/process school waste effectively to generate higher income.

Thank you

ravisenji
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