As the new school begins in June. we started to do some assessment of needs on hyqiene and sanitation in all the Tribal schools - primary, middle. high and hiqher secondary scnools this year. Some of the issues identified were poor maintenance of tne school grounds. problems with water source, repairs of motor/ water tanks. and availability of cleaning supplies. In addition. we also found the need to renew the children's awareness levels and ability to take actions on poor hyqiene issues. A program has been developed for improving the situation in each Tribal schoor. which will be implanted in the course of the school year.
In the month of April, we started conductinq the awareness session in each school. talking to children about their views on hygiene and wnat challenges they have to maintain good personal hyqiene. It was identified. that educating parents on these issues is also very important. But since the issue is considered to basic and not a serious issue at the community level. there is significant level of apathy. To get through to them. we have started to conduct some competitions. storytelling. plays/ skits. where parents can be invited as well. These activities are only now being initiated and we hope to assess the extent of change among the parents and community over the next few months.
In addition. the project is also now tryinq to select some Tribal School to provide support on rebuilding toilets for hostel 6 for school; to develop a model for improving functional use of latrines amonq Tribal communities. One of the main challenqes in this faced is the attitude towards maintenance of toilets at the School level. We arenoping that the above intervention will also help to address this issue. Based on the success we hope to scale up these activities.