WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is completely a collective approach for getting access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities, and proper hygiene education for improving human health and wellbeing. Improve in WASH services is not only reduce the illness and death from diseases but it is also a powerful indicator for poverty and socio-economic development. Goal No. 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. In line with the SDGs, Sewa International’s WASH program aims to sustainably improve the WASH services for all without any discrimination.
As part of Swachh Bharat Mission, a flagship program of Central Government, Sewa International is also continuing its mission for providing better toilet facilities to the needy schools and poor households in rural communities in an effort to improve sanitation practices in the schools and rural community across India. In the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, it has become evident that providing access to services is not enough to change behavior. Accordingly, SI promotes WASH related social behavior change interventions to influence and support the desired behavior change. Under the Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC), SI adopts education and reinforcement programmes like hand-washing, sanitation, safe food, menstrual hygiene, water handling& storage and etc. for student and communities to develop their positive social behaviors and maintain appropriate behaviors.Moreover in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a WHO/UNICEF technical brief on WASH, the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 outbreak.Similarly for supplyingsafe and adequate drinking water, SI sets about its work vigorously and it is always a top concern in the immediate aftermath of any natural disaster and need-based as well.
Areas of Intervention
WASH related Social Behavioural Change and Communication (SBCC)
To achieve a positive change in human behavior is a critical aspect of human health and disease control. The SBCC strategy on WASH means to focus on raising understanding &visibility of sanitation and hygiene behavioursand creating an enabling environment for change. The overall purpose of this intervention is to increase the adoption of safe water, sanitation & hygiene practices among school kids, families and communities forreducing the diseases. And also hand hygiene particularly wash your “hands with soap and water often” and to “use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available” is an important way to prevent the all sorts of infections including Coronavirus outbreak.
Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is an essential aspect of hygiene for women and adolescent girls between menarche and menopause.And yet, the topic of menstruation remains a taboo and menstrual practices still face many social, cultural, and religious restraints which are a big barrier in the path of menstrual hygiene management.Girls and women have very less or no knowledge about reproductive tract infections caused due to ignorance of personal hygiene during menstruation time.So the idea is to educate and make them aware about the environmental pollution and health hazards associated with them. Under this intervention SI targets schools and communities to raise awareness among adolescent girls and women about menstruation, hygiene issues, myths surrounding periods, good and bad touch.
Joining with India Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission, Sewa International has been steadily and ceaselessly undertaking the construction, repair & renovation of household as well as school toilets across India since the year 2015. The types of toilets we constructing are portable (stainless-steel), portable (aluminium), portable (frp), bio-toilets and pit toilets.
Access to Safe and Adequate Drinking Water
An effort towards ensuring access to safe and adequate drinking water to disaster survivors and to the children in the schools without water purification system is always a big challenge to avoid diseases. Considering it as one the top priority area, SI always works dedicatedly to provide safe and adequate drinking water for the vulnerable community in the following manner,
Aftermath of any disaster, we restore clean water supply systems for the people affected by disaster.
Install water-purification systems for the children in the schools located in remote rural and tribal areas.
Sewa International invites volunteers to come forward and support various initiatives by volunteering with us.
Toilet and Hygiene Project for the Girl Child
We aspire to be the pre-eminent, Hindu faith-based humanitarian organization that serves selflessly and with compassion to create a positive impact on society. We envision and strive for a world in which all people live in harmony, free from suffering.
Sewa International’s mission is to serve humanity in distress, aid local communities, run developmental projects for the underserved, and assist people in transformational change through the power of innovation by mobilizing partners, donors and volunteers.
We accomplish this mission by focusing our efforts towards:
Access to toilets is critical for clean and healthy communities:
In 2015, Sewa International started the “#Yes! I can go to School” program, and implemented the first pilot project by installing toilets at four government schools in Jigani, Bengaluru District, in South India. Girl's school attendance increased by 87%.
Since then, Sewa International has expanded the project in different locations across India. In the past four years, this project has benefited more than 7,803 families and 29,379 school children from various sections of Indian communities.
Toilet use is essential to the survival and development of children across the socio-economic spectrum in India and around the world. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to fecal matter spreads diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid. It is essential and imperative that we step up to the challenge and provide a safe, free, and secure environment for girl children and women by providing them safe, clean, secure toilets.
This village has not seen a toilet since our ancestors have moved and settled here. Since we don't have any open field that we can use for nature calls, before sunrise, we use our house terrace to attend nature calls and then dispose them outside our village. We come from a poor economic background, and toilets are a luxury for us. Thank you Sewa International for travelling miles to help us, thank you for building community toilets. We don't have much words to express our gratitude. We are happy that our little girls do not have to go through what we have suffered for such a long time.
- Durgaben, Baluva village- Uttar Pradesh
If we have to attend nature calls during the school hours, either we have to go home or find an open space nearby. Sometimes, we take two more girls from the class when we go out to attend nature calls so, they can watch out for us. During the menstrual period, we don't attend schools due to the lack of toilets. When we go home in between the school hours to use a rest room, most of the time we don't come back as our parents suggest us to stay home instead of going back to school. We hesitate and feel embarrassed to share or openly talk about these issues. Thanks to Sewa team, now we have toilets and we can attend school without interrupting our study hours.
- Class 8 and 9 Students, Lucknow Government school, Uttar Pradesh
interacting with the girls at BTVP, the lack of toilet facilities in the school was a major concern. On most days, girls skipped drinking water to avoid using open fields as toilets. After the installation of toilets in her school, Aisha welcomed Team Sewa with a huge smile on her face thanking us immensely for fulfilling the promise we made to them. Going through all the challenges in installing the toilets was worth that smile.
Unlike her friends, Saritha who is physically challenged, could not walk long distances to attend her nature calls. She is immensely thankful to Sewa's team for building her a toilet. She is also successful in influencing her family to use the toilet. Her orthodox mother-in-law, who strongly felt that a toilet in the vicinity of a house is unacceptable, now uses the toilet instead of defecating in the open field. We need strong women like Saritha, who will propagate our mission and help us build swatch and surakshit bharath (clean and safe India).
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