Visakhapatnam, October 6, 2016: Plan India, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and
Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Commissioner Mr. M. Hari Narayanan and Visakhapatnam District Collector Mr. Praveen Kumar inaugurated the project in the presence of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, USAID Mission Director to India; Ms. Shubha Sekhar, Director CSR and Sustainability,
Under the three-year project,
Speaking on the occasion, USAID Mission Director Addleton remarked, “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has identified the provision of clean water and sanitation as his top priority. USAID supports this priority by providing technical expertise and sharing best practices that translate into positive change not only for these children and their schools, but also for their families and communities. The launch of the School WASH program today reinforces our shared goal of improving services for India’s low-income urban populations. The specific target is to advance the Government of India’s goal of improvement in the general quality of life of people by promoting cleanliness and hygiene, and making India free from open-defection by October 2, 2019. With the right mix of technology, innovation and partnerships, we believe we can transform India into a country where clean water and sanitation is no longer a privilege, but a basic right affordable to all.”
Over 17 million urban households lack adequate sanitation facilities in India and 14.7 million of these lack toilets. The absence of basic sanitation facilities in schools is a key factor in students dropping out, particularly teenage girls.
Commenting on the partnership, Shubha Sekhar, Director CSR and Sustainability,
“It is important that our children are afforded basic necessities so they can focus on their education,” said Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India “One of the widely recognized reasons for children dropping out of schools is the lack of basic, age-appropriate, gender-and disability-friendly sanitation facilities, clean drinking water and a healthy school environment. This project will ensure improved access to water, hygiene and sanitation by providing separate toilets facilities for girls and boys,” She added.
The project will help school children, teachers, School Management Committees (SMC), functionaries and communities ensure quality WASH practices within their schools. It will also address gender issues with the strong participation of girls in various project activities, such as menstrual hygiene management and advocating for proper facilities in school. This work contributes to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission by creating models that can be replicated by the municipal corporation school WASH improvement programme.
For further information, contact:
Neha Khator, USAID, firstname.lastname@example.org, +91 9811869521
Meenakshi Dalal, email@example.com, +91 8860492658
Arpan basu, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 91 9818083556