In rural India, the pursuit of education often comes with numerous challenges, and one of the most pressing issues that stands in the way of education is access to clean and safe drinking water in schools. The consequences of this scarcity extend beyond just thirst. Unsafe water can lead to waterborne diseases, absenteeism and most importantly, hindered learning and potential.
Most of us take clean drinking water and sanitation facilities for granted. But it may surprise you to know that only 47% of schools in India have access to drinking water, and only 53% have separate toilets for girls and boys, according to a report by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
– The Times Of India
However, a ray of hope shines bright on the horizon as our on-ground teams work tirelessly, dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young learners in rural India.
The Power of Safe Water in Schools
- Health and Well-being: Contaminated and unsafe water can lead to waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid, which can significantly impact the attendance and overall health of students. Access to safe water in schools ensures that students can learn and thrive in an environment free from the threat of waterborne diseases.
- Hydration and Cognitive Development: There is an undeniable link between proper hydration and cognitive development of children. Children tend to hydrate more frequently and generously when they have easy access to safe water in school, than when they carry a limited amount of water from home. This results in improved overall childhood development.
- Attendance and Academic Performance: Improved health leads to better attendance, which, in turn, enhances academic performance. Absenteeism due to illness can affect a student’s learning and overall educational experience, and may even lead to dropouts.
- School Enrollment: The assurance of safe water can serve as an incentive for rural parents to enroll their children in schools, thereby increasing the overall literacy rate in India.
- Gender Equality: In most parts of India and the world, girls are responsible for collecting water for their families, and if schools do not have safe water sources, this can place an additional burden on girls, making it more challenging for them to attend school regularly. Providing safe water reduces this burden and helps promote gender equality in education.
- Community Impact: Schools often serve as community centers in rural areas, and providing safe water to schools can benefit the surrounding community as well. As part of our continual Community Engagement initiatives, we appoint young ‘Safe Water Ambassadors’ in our schools, whose responsibility is to continue spreading awareness among their families, peers and the larger village community. These initiatives are playing a major role in improving the health and hygiene of the entire community and reducing the burden of waterborne diseases.
- Legal Compliance: In India, the Right to Education Act, 2009 mandates that all schools, including government schools, should provide safe drinking water and functional sanitation facilities to students. Compliance with these legal requirements is crucial for the effective functioning of educational institutions.
With the generous support of our kind sponsors, we at Community Pure Water took many steps forward in the past few months towards ensuring better education for as many as 1400 school children. Since July 2023, we have installed 7 new water purification centers in government schools across Telangana.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for transforming the lives of both students and staff:
Mrs. Renuka Bokka Medavaram
Government High school, Chintha Nekkonda
Beecher Family Foundation
Zila Parishad High School, Ambatpally
Mr. Ajay Chopra & Mrs. Shyamoli Banerjee
Primary School, Sunkishala
Mrs. Vidiyala Aruna Devi
Zila Parishad High School, Budharaopet
Mr. Medavaram Lakshman Rao
Mandal Praja Parishad School, Budharaopet
Mrs. Lingampally Usha Devi
Zila Parishad High School, Konakapaka
In essence, safe water in schools is not merely a basic necessity but a cornerstone for nurturing healthy, empowered, and educated generations. Every drop of safe, purified water is a drop of hope for these students, and thanks to the generous support of kind sponsors, that hope is becoming a reality.