35 per cent of Indian schools do not have toilets, says Sibal

Health and wellness clubs will be set up in schools to make children aware of good health and sanitation practices, according to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

‘Change must happen'

“It is at the school level that the impetus for change must happen,” said Mr. Sibal, pointing out that over 35 per cent of Indian schools do not have toilets, and over 90 per cent of schoolchildren do not wash their hands before meals.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of the National School Sanitation Initiative, being promoted by the Urban Development and HRD Ministries, the Central Board for Secondary Education and German partner GTZ.

Brand ambassador

Hindi film actor Aamir Khan has agreed to be the brand ambassador for the initiative, and said he would record awareness packages to be distributed in schools in CD format or be made available on the internet.

Behavioural change is the key to the success of any sanitation initiative, said Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy.

Mr. Reddy launched a bio-dynamic waste segregation programme for children to implement.

A school sanitation manual which will become part of the CBSE curriculum was also released.

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