The Government Middle Smart School, Taunsa, in Nawanshahr district on Monday became the first school in the state where a proper handwashing unit was installed inside the school premises as part of a project launched by the Punjab State Food Commission. A 10-tap handwashing station was installed in the school that has 100 students from classes 6 to 8. Around 10 more schools will get the same units in the coming few days. Further, a list of 200 government schools, mainly primary and elementary, is ready for installation of these units in the coming few months.
The project was launched by Punjab State Food Commission, which has roped in industrial houses to arrange hand washing units in government schools. Punjab State Food Commission member A K Sharma opened the first unit Monday.
Hand washing in Schools before Mid Day Meal (MDM) is also one of UNICEF’s major programmes to keep children healthy and save them from various infections. Anu, a Class 8 student, of the schools said that their teachers told them that how they (children) can be protected from various infections like stomach, eyes, skin, various flues by just washing their hands. “Handwashing maintains the hygiene level quite high and it boosts good health,” said Amandeep Kaur, student of Class 7. It will not take more than 10 minutes if there are 200 children in the school to wash their hands.
The 10-tap one unit costs around Rs 20,000. In the primary schools, 4-tap units will be installed which will bring the cost down per unit. A Kapurthala-based firm has been hired to manufacture these steel hand wash units. Gurpreet Kaur, who teaches at the Taunsa school, said that it would be a great habit if it is inculcated among the children at the tender age and they will follow it for their rest of life.
Sharma said the Sun Pharma, a known business entity, had promised to provide 200 hand washing units, in phases in Nawanshahr district and their gesture will motivate several other industrial houses to come forward to serve the needy government schools and Anganwari centers.
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