Behavioral changes can be brought about by awareness generation on sanitation and hygiene issues among school children, teachers and parents, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju has said.
Emphasizing on the need to 'catch them young', he said personal hygiene and environmental sanitation will help students develop good habits in their formative years.
Dr. Raju, who was speaking at the launch of the 'WAVES OF CHANGE' programme and conferment of the First National School Sanitation Awards in New Delhi today, said by including sanitation, health and hygiene as part of the curriculum, sustainability can be ensured.
Hoping that more and more schools will participate in the 'WAVES OF CHANGE' programme and focus on health, hygiene and sanitation, he called the initiative a red letter day in the history of school education in India.
Dr. Raju also gave away the first-ever 'National School Sanitation Awards' to the top 102 schools that have come forward to get their online school sanitation rating. The awardee schools have been rated in green, blue and yellow colours.
Former cricketer K. Srikkanth, who is the brand ambassador of the event, drew analogy of life with cricket, saying whenever you are positive in your approach, you put opposition on the back foot. He told students to study with fun and joy, and be a sport.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development in collaboration with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has instituted the awards to inculcate good sanitation habits among the school children in order to acquaint, inspire and celebrate excellence in school sanitation at the National level.
The awards encourage schools to lay emphasis on, among others, personal hygiene, proper sanitation facilities, clean toilet habits, separate toilets for girl students, waste segregation and composting.
On this occasion, the children who had assembled took a 'Sanitation Pledge', and books and posters on the theme were released. The logo of 'WAVES OF CHANGE' was also unveiled.
The 'WAVES OF CHANGE' programme aims at facilitating the holistic development of the mind, body and soul, learning by doing and encourages the multiple intelligences and capabilities of a student.
Special focus is given to the good health of students through proper sanitation and hygiene in schools. 'WAVES OF CHANGE' highlights "education beyond books" and celebrates excellence through scholastic and co-scholastic learning and shaping of life skills. CBSE is spearheading the programme in collaboration with National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) and GIZ under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The school sanitation awards are open to all Indian schools, irrespective of their Boards, which have registered and rated themselves online for sanitation status on www.schoolsanitation.com.