Promote healthy behaviours and practices on water and sanitation across 12 slums of M East Ward
In a bid to create awareness about health and sanitation in Shivaji Nagar area of Govandi, Save the Children, Apnalaya and Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment, today launched a first-of-its kind community campaign ‘Saaf Paani, Swasth Parivar’ which attempts to educate the people about the importance of health seeking behaviour and practices on water, hygiene and sanitation. This joint initiative aims at making children torchbearers for a brighter, healthier and secured future for a community like Shivaji Nagar who suffer needlessly from diseases.
Shivaji Nagar has been one of world’s largest waste dumping sites, with a long-standing history of poor performance on diverse developmental parameters. The community lacks basic amenities in terms of proper drainage, pipelines to distribute potable water, public health facilities, access to decent housing and sanitary living conditions. Moreover, the community lacks awareness about importance of clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.
This 30-day long campaign, executed in three phases, aims at sensitizing people for a healthy living. In the first phase, a street play workshop was organised with 40 children leaders where they were trained on how to conceptualise a street play and perform within their communities on various issues faced by the community people . Furthermore children used their creativity in developing a street play and they performed during the opening of the programme today. In the second phase a two-day photography workshop – “The Children’s lens” was organized by the team and Mr. Mohammad Aslam, General Manager, Frameboxx Animation. The key focus of the workshop was to provide a conducive environment for children to use their creativity in capturing community health & sanitation issues through photography. These photographs, which provide a rich insight and deep understanding of how children perceive the world around them, were then displayed in a photo exhibition during the launch event of the campaign today. In addition to this, another unique initiative was successfully organized where children were seen as ‘young advocates’ who highlighted the various issues concerning them and their community.
During the event, a tableau vehicle with educative messages, posters, banners, video moved through 5 prime locations of the community. The children’s group conducted awareness sessions and street plays on community issues. Additionally, Kiosks stalls were set up and quick demonstration on washing hands was shown and simultaneously performed by the community. Furthermore, awareness rallies, home visits, quiz competitions, hand washing demonstrations were conducted to raise awareness.
The campaign highlighted the benefits of drinking water from Water Shops installed in Padmanagar and Rafiqnagar by Apnalaya in collaboration with Eureka Forbes. The units are owned and managed by the self-help groups to provide clean and safe drinking water at all times. These Water Shops work on ultrafiltration and ultraviolet radiation technology which eliminates physical, chemical and microbiological impurities, providing healthy and safe drinking water.
Ms. Annabel Mehta, President, Apnalaya shared, “For the last 43 years, we have been striving hard to address some of the most pertinent issues in communities that are not only marginalized, but are severely challenged on various development indicators. We strongly believe that with this collaboration, we will be largely successful in empowering young minds by improving their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices. We shall further endeavour to not only spread awareness and awaken people’s thought to it, but generate public response by inspiring them to taking concrete actions”.
Ms. Ipsita Das, Project Manager, Save The Children shared, “The overall objective of the campaign on water, sanitation and hygiene is to contribute to the realization of children’s rights to survival and development through promotion and use of, safe water and basic sanitation services, and promoting improved hygiene. Save the Children’s vision has always been to make a difference in the lives of the most socially-excluded children of India. Considering children have been the most affected group in slum clusters of Shivaji Nagar, we felt the need to channelize our energies in supporting the cause of educating children about hygiene, sanitation and healthy practices”.
Talking about this initiative, Mr. A.V. Suresh, Trustee, Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment said, “We, at Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment have firmly believed that unpolluted water & air is the birth right of every Indian. Having realized the seriousness of issues bordering the community of Govandi, we have established water shops and kiosks in Govandi to not only ensure supply of safe and clean drinking water to the communities, but also encourage entrepreneurship and generate employment for women. We believe that with ‘Saaf Paani, Swasth Parivar’, we can take a critical step towards a better understanding of water, hygiene and sanitation, which in turn will help the overall development and growth of children and the community as a whole”.