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Access to Water is Access to Education and Opportunity for All

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  • Published
    8th Jun, 2021
  • Assuring water in toilets not only helps children’s hygiene but also helps motivate adolescent girls and teachers not to miss school, especially during menstruation days. Early habits of sanitation and hygiene cannot be taught in the absence of regular access to the said facilities.
  • According to the data submitted to the Lok Sabha in 2019, almost 160,000 Anganwadi Centers (AWCs) did not have access to water.
  • Every dollar invested in water access and sanitation yields an average of $6.80 in return, through averted health and productivity costs.
  • Given the health implications of no water in school and Anganwadi center grounds, especially due to the closures and the impact of the pandemic, the Government launched a 100-Day Campaign.
  • The campaign mandated States/ UTs to actively prioritize the provision of piped water supply in schools and AWCs in previously unserved or serving vulnerable communities.
  • Against the campaign’s baseline, six States reported achieving 100 percent coverage for schools, another five States reported achieving coverage above 90 percent.
  • Women were treated as beneficiaries as well as problem solvers, as cadres of self-help groups, teachers, and AWC workers took up the responsibility of disseminating key information and importance of piped water supply.
  • School management committees and children themselves became champions for the cause of equitable access to water for all.
  • UNICEF has been a proud partner of the Campaign in this regard.
  • With political drive, public financing, partnerships with different stakeholders, and people’s participation, the Government has identified a successful formula for bringing change on a large scale.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission, therefore, is not just about the provision of drinking water, but about increasing women’s participation in the workplace and economy, by giving them more time to pursue their aspirations.
  • It is about helping adolescent girls practice menstrual hygiene management while still having access to education.
  • It is about keeping safe hygiene and sanitation practices at the centre of all the work we do to keep children safe at home and outside.

History of Sanitation Programme in India before SBM

  • The first sanitation program for rural India: 1954 as a part of the First Five Year Plan
  • International Decade for Drinking Water and Sanitation (1981-90).
  • Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) in 1986
  • Total Sanitation Campaign” (TSC) was adopted in 1999.
  • The ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’ (NBA), the successor of the TSC, was launched on April 1, 2012.

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