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How 5 schools became Delhi’s cleanest with swachh monitors, liquid soap, tiffins

For Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar, government schools across India were judged on five categories – water, toilet, hand washing with soap, operations and maintenance, behaviour change and capacity building

delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2017 11:23 IST
Heena Kausar and A Mariyam Alavi
Heena Kausar and A Mariyam Alavi
Hindustan Times
Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar,MHRD,Government of India
Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Karol Bagh, is among five Delhi schools which have won Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2017. The award was instituted by Union Ministry of Human Resources. (Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)

Every morning when Riya, a Class 12 student and a ‘swachhta ambassador’, enters her school she makes it a point to check classrooms, corridors and the prayer ground for any dirty spot. The next step for her is to inform the school estate manager if any spot is unclean.

Riya is one in a group of 24 students and teachers who have formed a ‘Swachhta Cabinet’ that inspects every nook and corner of the Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Link Road, Karol Bagh in central Delhi.

Her efforts will not help her in getting extra marks in exams but have just earned her school a place among the 172 schools across the country that have won the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar, to be given by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

Marks for cleanliness
Five Delhi schools have been selected for Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar. Here’s how winners are chosen:

“There is no extra effort but we have to be alert. My work starts the moment I enter the school. I check classrooms on my floor, corridors and the playground to see if any spot has garbage. If I find anything, then I inform the estate manager who takes care of the problem,” said Riya.

In Delhi, five government schools have won the award. These schools were judged on five categories – water, toilet, hand washing with soap, operations and maintenance, behaviour change and capacity building. Schools had to fill a self-assessment form after which inspections were done by district officials, state officials and a team appointed by MHRD.

Involvement of students and teachers

The school has four ‘swachhta ambassadors’ students and one ‘swachhta monitor’ from each class. They make sure that garbage is always thrown in dustbin, water coolers have clean water, and toilets are hygienic.

“Sanitation workers alone cannot keep the school clean. Students and teachers have to take pride in the school and that can happen only if they actively participate in maintaining the school,” said Hans Raj Modi, vice-principal of the school.

Pankaj, a student of Class 9 and a ‘swachhta monitor’, said he encourages other students to use dustbins, wash their hands, cut their nails and not litter.

Cleaner toilets

The Rashtriya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya in Shalimar Bagh, has a newly renovated campus with cleaner toilets, a well pruned garden, and fully equipped labs and classrooms.

The toilets are now equipped with exhaust fans, new commodes, wash basins and liquid soap dispensers. “To ensure that the toilets stay clean, we now have an hourly cleaning system of the toilets,” said Mehak Singh, the vice principal of the school.

The cleaners have to complete and sign a checklist displayed outside toilets.

The school has one “Swachhta brand ambassador” for the school, and a health and hygiene monitor in each class. Jatin Sharma, a Swachhta brand ambassador, said the monitors, teachers, estate manager and himself work together to ensure that everything is in working order.

Krishna Dutta Sharma, principal of Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, said that in his school, students are informed every morning about the importance of keeping the school hygienic and clean.

“Students need to understand the importance of keeping their surrounding clean. If they study in clean classrooms, they can focus on studies better,” he said. The school has a score of 75%.

Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Chhawla has scored 78%.

Better management of midday meal distribution

At the Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Deendar Pur, principal Kumud Walia, said they pre-package midday meals in lunch boxes to ensure cleanliness. “During the 20 minutes for midday meals, it is difficult to manage the students, ensure they get food, and also that they don’t drop anything or litter the place,” she said.

Kids leave their empty lunch boxes on a shelf outside their class. Staff members fill the lunch boxes with the food and return it before the break.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 11:18 IST