200564 Water, sanitation and education (WASHED) for school children in the Thar Desert, India

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:30 AM

Prakash Tyagi, MD , Head Office, GRAVIS, Jodhpur, India
The Thar Desert of India is an arid and underdeveloped region. With very scanty rainfall of between 100 and 200 mm in a year, it is impoverished and lack basic amenities. Lack of educational facilities has contributed to illiteracy and to poor socio-economic development. GRAVIS, an NGO based in Thar, is working actively for holistic development. Providing education in remote areas is an important part of GRAVIS work. 74 schools have been set up in remote villages providing primary education to over 3,000 children.

The region is severely impacted by water scarcity and water-borne diseases due to lack of hygiene and sanitation. GRAVIS has taken up initiative on educating school children on hygiene and sanitation through a program called WASHED. Based on a field research, a comprehensive training curriculum has been designed for school teachers covering various aspects of personal hygiene, sanitation and water-safety. The teachers organize a 90-minutes class every week with the WASHED curriculum. To help children understanding the issues, a set of posters and pictorial booklet have also been developed. Further, a range of entertaining games have been designed. In all 74 GRAVIS schools, the program is being organized with great enthusiasm and the children are receiving the learning very well. In future, it is planned to disseminate the program in over 1,100 government school of region covering over 10,000 children. It is envisaged that the program will contribute in raising the awareness levels on water-safety and hygiene at young age leading to reduction in water-borne diseases.

Learning Objectives:
To share the water, sanitation and education (WASHED) model with the audience and develop pool of ideas for future implementation of the program.

Keywords: School Health, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with the program in the capacity of the Director of the implementing organization.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.