Essar Foundation and Essar Steel, Hazira, have been aligned with the #MissionSanitation drive for some time now.
Essar Foundation, alongside Essar Steel (EStIL), Hazira, has been working to overcome these challenges concerning sanitation with the construction of a sanitary block in a co-educational school in Dihen village, Surat District. The school has over 1,200 students enrolled who now have access to better facilities. Half of the student population in this school is female.
The sanitary block was constructed at MRC School in Dihen village in Olpad Taluka of Surat District. This block has two separate sections for male and female users. An overhead tank has been placed to address the water requirement as the cleanliness is highly dependent on the water availability. The school housekeeping staff now find it easier to ensure cleanliness and maintain a hygienic environment. This step of providing adequate sanitation facilities has enhanced the existing infrastructure in the school; it has also positively affected the mental and physical well-being of the students. In Kirandul village, Chhattisgarh, the Foundation has also constructed a water storage cum bathing complex for the residents.
In rural India, the situation in government schools can sometimes be challenging for young students. Without adequate sanitation facilities in schools, girls are more likely to drop out of school. Studies have found that 66 percent of girls’ schools lack functioning toilets in the country resulting more than 40 percent girls dropping out after completing just year five. With #MissionSanitation, the Government of India has made a renewed effort to push for provision of toilet facilities in schools and households within the country.
Healthy sanitation practices can be linked to better health, and are usually an outcome of better education. Over 600 million Indians have no access to toilets, which is the highest in the world. The proportion is worse in rural India, where 68 percent of rural households don’t have their own toilets.