SWACHH SCHOOL TO SWACHH BHARAT
WINNER: Palghar, Maharashtra WHY IT WON: An awareness campaign has helped teach students basic habits to maintain cleanliness
AT A TINY PRIMARY SCHOOL IN Karanjpada, in the Wada taluka of Maharashtra’s Palghar district, Deepak Shanware has taught his students to wash their hands with the help of a song he made up. In 2,812 government schools in Palghar, students have been taught five cleanliness habits—bathing daily, brushing teeth twice a day, washing hands before eating, using toilets and trimming nails regularly.
The district administration had completed construction of toilets in each village by 2015, but after noticing that they aren’t being used, they started an awareness campaign and a cleanliness drive.
“We have succeeded in providing clean drinking water to almost 99 per cent of the schools,” says Tushar Mali, deputy chief executive officer (water and cleanliness) of Palghar zila parishad. “Every school has handwash facilities and a unit of clean drinking water for every 40 students.”
Hamrapur sarpanch Sandeep Govari says the cleanliness drive has changed his habits too. “My 8-year-old son made me give up the use of plastic bags,” he says. A swachh school is the foundation for a Swachh Bharat. ■
GOOD HABITS A song helps school students remember to clean their hands properly