Sulabh Rolls Out ‘Aagaz’ Campaign For Schools In Sikkim

Sulabh Rolls Out ‘Aagaz’ Campaign For Schools In Sikkim

Gangtok, Nov 15 (TNA) To make school environments safe, additional health and hygiene measures should be implemented and school-based psychosocial and nutritional support should be extended to students to strengthen their overall health and well-being in the wake of the pandemic.

The launching of Project “Aagaz “ in several government schools of Sikkim is a step in this direction. The aim of this project is to “building back better”—initiating a participatory process that can help bring all children and young people into school and leave no one behind.

The project will empower the students both mentally and physically to face any future disaster. ‘Aagaz’project is just the beginning. This project has been launched to seek solutions for the problems faced by students after the pandemic.

Under this project, which is being implemented by Education department in association with Sulabh School Sanitation Club and Alkem Labs Pvt.Ltd approximately 900 students, 300 teachers, 75 caregivers and 200 community level workers from all the districts of Sikkim are going to be trained about how to adapt and keep pace with the ‘new normal’.

Project Aagaz was inaugurated to mark the Children’s day in Gangtok by the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Prem Singh Tamang. The Education Minister of Sikkim, Kunga Nima Lepcha and the founder of Sulabh Sanitation Social Reform Movement Padmabhusan Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak graced the occasion.

Chief Minister Tamang said, “as schools have re-opened in Sikkim the school leaders & the peer educators will have to consider a dizzying array of decisions- they will have to make difficult trade-offs using the best and most recent—but still incomplete—available evidence and the knowledge of their own resources and constraints. They will also have to involve parents, teachers, and students in the decision-making.”

Speaking on the occasion Dr Bindheswar Pathak said,” Water and hygiene facilities will be a crucial part of schools reopening safely. We should look at opportunities to improve hygiene measures, including hand washing, respiratory etiquette (i.e. coughing and sneezing into the elbow), physical distancing measures, cleaning procedures for facilities. Administrative staff and teachers should also be trained on physical distancing and school hygiene practices.”

"I am sure this project will be able to equip or retrofit the schools for optimal hygiene and sanitation standards and ensure that the students adhere to health and safety protocols, he said”

Kunga Nima Lepcha, Education Minister of Sikkim said , “Life during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for parents and children alike. The return to school is an important and welcome step, but need to be vigilant.”

“I am sure Project Aagaz to be implemented by Sulabh Sanitation Club and Alkem Labs shall ensure students, teachers and other staff are safe when they return and communities are confident in sending their students back to school, minister adds. “

The additional Chief Secretary, Education Department, Govt of Sikkim Shri G P Upadhaya While welcoming the guests, under lined that “ as schools gradually re-open, department of education is committed to maintain appropriate health and hygiene standards to prevent transmission of COVID-19, and to ensure that teachers and other school staff can work safely and effectively. Project Aagaz would try to supplement the efforts of ours by prioritizing the ever-important health and well-being of our school communities.

During this event, seven students from Sikkim were awarded with the “Best Volunteer” award for their contribution towards improving Water Sanitation & Hygiene measures in their schools. Also, “Best teacher” award was given away to four teachers from four different districts of Sikkim who were instrumental in supporting water sanitation and hygiene related advocacy events in schools of Sikkim.

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