No more “missing classes” for girl students of Channarayapatna govt primary school at Karnataka

The girl students of Channarayapatna government primary school are on cloud nine. They got new toilets and a hand washing station. Prior to it, many of them were missing their classes during their menstrual cycle as the school lacked toilets.

Besides, most of their houses were far away from the school that they could not go to their houses in case of any emergency during that time. Ending their apprehensions, Reaching Hand has built toilets and a hand washing station for them.

“We are really happy that you built us toilets, but we want toilets for the boys and upper school as well,” says the students of  Channarayapatna government primary school.

Inspired by the Reaching Hand’s efforts to reduce the dropout rate of girl students, panchayat  member who attended the function promised that they would look into building toilets for boys, if the new ones are kept clean.

To this, the principal of the school promised they would leave no stone unturned to make sure that the toilets stay in good condition.

It is a fact that many schools in Karnataka do not have separate toilets for girls and many don’t have toilets at all. And schools which have these facilities lack hygiene and are poorly maintained.

According to the District Information System for Education (DISE) for the academic year 2015-16, 115 schools lack separate toilet for girls and a total of 280 schools do not even have boys’ toilets in Karnataka.

No doubt, this is one of the primary reasons for the increasing students’ dropout rate in the state.

Akshay Sagar, COO, Reaching Hand inaugurated the programme. Feba Nisha, Programme Manager, Khandappa, Programme Coordinator and Deepa Patil (AIF Clinton Fellow) attended the function. School authorities, teachers, members of gram and zilla panchayat and students also participated in the programme.

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RH opens a toilet block in Khandu govt secondary school, Sikkim

Though the dropout rates of students in the country have decreased considerably, the north- eastern states are not showing any positive sign in this regard.

One of the primary reasons is the inferior sanitation infrastructure in the schools.

Hence, Reaching Hand’s Girls Glory project http://reachinghand.org/project/girlsglory/ focus on creating good sanitation infrastructure for girl children.

Under this project, a toilet block was built in the Khandu government secondary school at Sikkim on October 7, 2016.

Zilla Panchayat member Mrs Sabitri Thapa inaugurated the venture

 

 

 

Reaching Hand spreading its wings. This time, it is Kashmir

Reaching Hand is spreading its wings to other parts of the country. This time it is Kashmir – the land of Paradise

Under RH’s Girls glory project, a toilet block was inaugurated at the second  coldest place in the world,  Drass, a sub-division of Kargil district. Around 270 girl students can make use of this benefit. Mr Haji, Mohammad Shaif, Advisor to CEC, LAHDC, Kargil inaugurated the function.

 

Reaching Hands build “Toilet Block” for girl Students at Drass – Scoop News Jammu Kashmir

Source: Reaching Hands build “Toilet Block” for girl Students at Drass – Scoop News Jammu Kashmir

Kargil ,October 30, (Scoop News)-Keeping In view the health and hygiene, a toilet block was inaugurated at the Second inhabitant coldest place in the world Drass Sub-division of Kargil district.
The toiled for around 270 girl students under the project Girls glory reaching hands Bangalore , which was inaugurated by Haji Mohammad Shaif Advisor to CEC LAHDC Kargil graced the occasion with other dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion Haji Shafi congratulated team rDamba (bridge) group of young professionals from Ladakh for co-ordinating and facilitating this project on school for health and sanitation at world’s second coldest Inhabitant place in the world.
He also thanked WJ Clinton fellow (AIF) Staniz Saldon and reaching for extending hand for such a unique and exclusive project in this part of India and promised a block for boys as well in coming years.
Stanzin Saldon the main hand behind this project also spoken this occasion said that she will come to the school again and again.
Stanzin Saldon Said, “If you talk to the girls in the school that how they face problem in the school”.
“We should not under estimate the problem which face the girl students on day today life”. She added.Meanwhile Syed Sajjad Hussan NYK district youth co-ordination, Sapura In-charge principal and the students of the school Roqiya and Kheriun Nissa also spoken on the occasion.
It’s pertinent to mention here that there are many schools in Kargil where there is lack of educational infra-structure which leads drop out of girl students in Kargil. While as the local administration enjoys Swacch Bharat Abhiyan every year.

 

Education can truly transform an underprivileged child’s life. Read Shivkumar’s story..

Case study taken by Feba Nisha and Deepa Patil

Our country does not have enough schools. Several existing schools are deprived of necessary infrastructure. Because of it, many students drop out even before they complete their formal education.

And those children who manage to stay in school till they complete their formal education comes out with insufficient skills and knowledge which do not help them in any ways to find good jobs.

Shivakumar could have been one among the drop outs, if his school had not received help to come up with proper infrastructure on time. He wants to become an engineer. Originally from Koppal district, north Karnataka, he moved to Bangalore, recently to continue his education as his native place only has schools till 7th grade.

Currently, he lives with his aunt and visually challenged uncle who work in the railway station. He is the first one in the family ever to pursue education.

“I knew that if I had to get a job, I should take computer classes. But,there were no such facilities in Koppal.”

To his surprise, Shivakumar saw his dreams turning into reality, when ‘Reaching Hand’ opened a Spoorthi Center at KR Puram government school. It equips schools with a computer lab, computer classes, life skills and soft skills classes.

Besides, there are trainers to teach spoken English and also to inculcate reading habits and various other essential skills.

Sponsored by KWE, the centres are opened in partnership with government schools, block education officers and school development management committee.

“Now, I can learn how to use computers,” said Shivakumar with a grin.

Spoorthi Centers give immense opportunities to under privileged students like Shivakumar.

“I want to study hard and make a name for myself one day. Once I am successful, I want to help underprivileged people and children,” he added.

Sahana’s story is a real eye – opener. It shows how proper toilet facilities can prevent girls from dropping out of schools.

Sahana resized copy.jpg

 

Case study taken by Khandappa and Deepa Patil

Pic courtesy – Deepa Patil

 

That one week of every month used to be a nightmare for Sahana, a 10th standard student at Siddhartha School, Bangalore. She could not even think of going to school when she used to have her periods. The toilets in her school were devoid of basic facilities.  They were broken, filthy and non- functional. There was little access to water, if they had to use the toilet, in case of emergency.

As they had no other alternative, most of Sahana’s friends used to skip their classes during those days particularly because of the embarrassment they had to undergo as they did not have a proper private area to change their napkins and clean up themselves.

Though many of them wanted to attend schools, they were not allowed by their parents as the latter is aware of the lack of facilities in the school. As a result, girls would miss almost a week of school every month, falling behind others in classes when they resume their classes.

Sahana never skipped school, but she always felt uncomfortable during those days as she could not focus on her classes.

But things changed for the better as ‘Reaching Hand’ intervened and started building toilets for them say Sahana. “Things are very different now as Reaching Hand has built us toilets. It has been a huge help.”

Now the boys and girls have separate toilets after Reaching Hand implemented its programme ‘Girls Glory at Siddhartha School.

Girls, now rarely miss classes and can comfortably manage their menstrual hygiene in the school toilets that also have dust bins to dispose of their used napkins. Besides, students are provided with menstrual pads at schools. They also received classes on menstrual health.

Sahana shared her gratitude for Reaching Hand and said “Thanks to Reaching Hand as we now have good toilets and clean drinking water. They also painted our school and put on a really fun function! I feel like Reaching Hand is our friend.”

 

 

Girl’s Glory programme of Reaching Hand

reaching-hand-logo-website

  • 95% of girls in rural areas of India fail to attend school during menstrual periods.
  • Only 1 in 5 schools provide soap and almost no schools offer menstrual hygiene products or facilities for their disposal
  • 5% of schoolgirls from South Asia had not heard about menstruation prior to menarche
  • Across 5 states in rural India, 2 out of 3 girls and women reported not knowing about menstruation before receiving menarche

In India, a shocking 88% of these women are using extremely unhygienic alternatives such as: old rags, ashes, and husk when they get their periods.  70% of women report that it is accessibility and affordability of sanitary napkins that prevent them from using it.

Such unhygienic practices lead to a number of related health issues, including an increased risk of developing a Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) or other serious urine infections, which can be detrimental to fertility.

 We have found that poor sanitation and long- standing myths surrounding menstruation are directly correlated with absenteeism and drop-out from schools. Many girls report menstrual hygiene and management related issues as the cause for remaining absent from school, due to the lack of adequate water for washing, lack of soap, and inadequate toilets and facilities to dispose of the pads.

Result?  Girls between Standard 5 to 10th abstain themselves away from schools for 5 days every month, eventually leading to them to drop out of school.

We strive to attain:

  • Improve the living standards of girls and women, providing them with quality menstrual hygiene products free of charge.
  • Improve the overall educational experience of adolescent girls by reducing the school absences and drop-out rate.
  • Increase the number of women and girls who can manage menstruation safely and hygienically.
  • Reduce the likelihood of women and girls developing health problems associated with improper menstruation management.
  • Improve awareness of menstrual health and puberty among young girls aged between 11-18 years.
  • Empower women and girls to see past the social and cultural taboos associated with menstruation and lead a life of dignity and confidence.

Our programme will be delivered through an active network of community and corporate volunteers who give their time, skills, and experiences. The programme consists of one-hour sessions for girls in 6th Standard and above.

The structure of each session proceeds as follows:

  • a short video,
  • volunteers sharing own experiences,
  • an engaging activity,
  • and an opportunity for students to ask questions.