Swachh Vidyalaya Award
An Urdu medium Government High School, barely visible in a slum under the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati, has just bagged the national Swachh Vidyalaya Award from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
When teachers, school committee choose to become changemakers
Tirupati: An Urdu medium Government High School, barely visible in a slum under the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati, has just bagged the national Swachh Vidyalaya Award from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The Ministry launched the ‘Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya’ initiative in 2014 to ensure that all schools in India have access to separate functional toilets for boys and girls. The initiative is intended to also promote safe and appropriate hygiene practices in schools and behaviour among children.
Accordingly, a contest was conducted by the MHRD on maintenance of sanitation and safe drinking practices in Government schools for the year of 2016-17. The AP Government Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) Department observed the sanitation practices district-wise, identifying the ones that excelled.
A total of 641 schools drawn from across the State were enlisted for the cleanliness contest named Swachh Vidyalaya. From the Chief Minister’s home turf, four schools were awarded by the MHRD.
The Tirupati Municipal Urdu School, with 79 points, got national level cash prize and certificate. Headmaster Dilshad Bi and Swachh committee pupils’ leader S Sadiq jointly received the prestigious award from MHRD Minister Javadekar on September 1 in New Delhi.
The AP Tirupati Urdu School is the only one among Government schools to be selected for the Swachh Vidyalaya Award.
In this school, located at Nehru Nagar, 100 students are studying in Classes VI to X. A total six teachers are presently working at this school. The teachers had appointed Sadiq, an active student, as Swachh Vidyalaya committee leader for maintaining cleanliness with support from staff. All students studying here belong to poor families living in the slum.
Headmistress S Dilshad Bi observed: “Our goal is to create awareness in school children on sanitation and adoption of safe drinking water practices. This will have impact on the student’s entire family and on their neighbours too.”
“We are continually educating the children on cleanliness and good habits. Every day our school bathrooms and toilets are being cleaned three times by sanitation workers. We meet this expenditure from SSA grants,” said Dilshad.
This correspondent, during a visit to the school, found the classrooms, school premises and toilets clean, neat and very hygienic. Noticeably, one of the wash basins had been fixed at a low level to keep it within easy reach of children. Dust bins are also maintained by the school committee for waste collection.
Swachh committee pupils’ leader S Sadiq, while speaking to The Hans India, remarked: “My teachers regularly educate us on hand wash, cleanliness of the school premises, good sanitation practices”. Every day our committee members emphasize cleanliness and follow up the practices of Swachh Vidyalaya concepts among fellow students.”
In this exemplary school, teachers have assumed responsibility for maintaining wash basins, ensuring running water to toilets, and keeping napkins readily available for students. Expressing their happiness at receiving the Swachh Vidyalaya Award, teachers said: “Due to this award, first time our Urdu School has come into limelight throughout the State”.
By K Nethaji
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