When you pass by a primary school you may hear students cramming mathematical tables, but do not be surprised to hear tables on how to practice personal hygiene and virtues of cleanliness while passing Bi Amma Urdu Primary School in Madhya Predesh’s Khandwa.
For the 53 students enrolled in the school, it is a routine exercise to go through tables based on the 10 messages of cleanliness before beginning studies as it helps them to inculcate good hygiene habits from a young age.
Situated on the Moghat police station road in Maharani Laxmibai neighbourhood of the town, the school started the initiative more than two months back, when school principal Shahjaha Sheik received a rhyme on “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” on her WhatsApp number.
She forwarded the composition to WhatsApp group called “Swachh Vidhyalaya Group” that has more than 20 school principals as members.
Sheik decided teach the “cleanliness rhyme to her school’s students in an innovative way so that they could learn and practice good hygiene as well as teach their parents.
“It all started after I got a rhyme on cleanliness and as most students were interested to learn it, I decided to ask my staff members for ideas so that we could teach the children learn about cleanliness at an early age,” Sheik tells Hindustan Times.
“We tweaked the rhyme in a mathematical table format in such a manner that it helped the children to learn about the health benefits of personal hygiene and keeping the environment clean,” she says.
Praising the principal and teachers for their innovation to motivate students about cleanliness, Khandwa district collector Swati Meena says that the step not only inspires others schools to take up the initiative, but also the society.
“The initiative is good for everyone, because if school children understand the importance of cleanliness around them, they can educate their family members as well.”
Meena, who visited the school for an inspection, says: “Being situated in a minority-dominated area, the school is not only creating awareness about cleanliness, but they have done a commendable job of educating girls and eradicating gender discrimination in the society.”
“The credit goes to the teaching staffers who are doing their job with great enthusiasm.”
The unique method has started drawing positive response among parents at home as well.
“Now my daughter has started teaching about cleanliness from the lessons she learns at school,” says Hasiba Bee, mother of 7-year-old Fatima.
“It is good that students are being encouraged to keep the environment clean and are being taught not to litter outside the school,” she says.
The Swachh rhyme
2 ekam 2 sabun se hath dho (clean your hands with soap)
2 duni 4 safai se karo pyar (love cleanliness)
2 tiya 6 swachata ki jai (hail cleanliness)
2 choke 8 nakhun ko kat (cut your nails)
2 panje 10 dant mein ho brush (brush your teeth)
2 chake 12 shochalay ho pyara (have clean toilet)
2 sate 14 ek lagao podha (plant one tree)
2 athe 16 saf rakho shala (keep your school clean)
2 name 18 swacha shahar ka nara (keep you city clean)
2 dham 20 doctor ki bache fees (cut the doctor’s fees)
(With inputs from Sunil Kerhalkar in Khandwa)