School in Development
SID focuses on school
SID focuses on school children to transform them into messengers of development (Vikasdoot) for health and sanitation issues in the villagers. This initiative is significant as children are great influencers since they exert tremendous emotional pressure on the adults. Therefore health messages can be more effectively communicated to the community through them. Secondly being vulnerable to diseases caused by unhygienic behaviors and insanitary living conditions, any effort to bring in behavior change among them will help impact their health status directly.

The SID programme is an intense 5-day training programme which engages 40 select students from the 6th and 7th standard of Zilla Parishad schools in interactive activities to communicate health and hygiene messages. The training program also focuses on building communication skills, team building, leadership skills, collective decision-making and understanding the functioning of the local government systems at the village level. The program culminates in constituting a Bal Panchayat through due election process among the members. The elected Chief Minister and the cabinet members take responsibility for improving hygiene behaviors and ensuring good sanitation at personal, household and community level. Each child monitors health and hygiene practices in five households.
The ‘School in Development’ project started in June, 2010 with the financial support of Mahindra Tractors and HDFC. The project aimed at empowering a group of forty school students in each school to become ‘Vikasdoots’ or change agents for improving the quality of health, sanitation, and education in their families, school and village.

Two hundred and forty students of six Zilla Parishad schools underwent an intensive five-day training focused on building leadership and communication skills. SID trained students in construction of soak pits, vermi-compost tanks and kitchen gardens. Training also focused on  seven points of cleanliness; personal hygiene, cleanliness of neighbourhoods, household cleanliness, food hygiene, waste water management, solid waste management, garbage management, and potable water.

Each Vikasdoot is responsible for spreading awareness about good hygiene to at least five households in his/her community, and undertake monthly monitoring of hygiene and sanitation practices in those households.

The students elect representatives and form a cabinet or Bal Panchayat where each member works on different topics. They learn about the election process and about the elected representatives of the village and the Gram Panchayat responsible for governance in the village. The student cabinet is linked with institutions like Anganwadi, Gram Panchayat, School Management Committee, Self-Help Groups and Health sub-Centre. A plan of action is prepared for the student cabinet, detailing the roles and responsibilities of each student minister. Population First makes frequent visits to mentor the students and determine the impact of these trainings on hygiene and sanitation practices in the village community.

Children trained under the SID program have constructed 84 kitchen gardens, 59 soak pits and 34 toilets. They have motivated their families and neighbors to maintain good personal hygiene, especially in public areas.

Examples from the Field:
Village Warpadi:
When a number of cattle mysteriously started falling sick in Warpadi village, the Vikasdoots swung into action. They drafted a letter, took the signatures of the villagers and submitted it to the veterinary doctor. Subsequently, a health camp for cattle was organized and the cause of illness was diagnosed as contaminated cattle feed.

Village Kanva: The students of Kanva have converted used big cans of oil into garbage bins and placed them near shops and other places where people tend to litter. They have painted these cans to make them standouts.

Village Chinchwadi: A few bright students came forward to assist fourteen students of Chinchwadi village who were illiterate. Due to their efforts, significant improvement has been observed in the reading and writing skills of these students.
Chacha Nehru Vikas Premi Abhiyan
Chacha Nehru Vikas Premi Abhiyan
Population First launched a campaign called ‘Chacha Nehru Vikas Premi Abhiyan’ in 2011, to keep ‘Vikasdoots’ motivated and to channelize their immense talent and energies constructively.
Under the campaign, Vikasdoots took up various sanitation initiatives in their schools and villages. They worked on the Ideal School, an Ideal Bal Panchayat (Cabinet of Children) and an Ideal kitchen garden. The ‘Chacha Nehru Vikas Premi Abhiyan’ culminated with a Bal Anand Melava (Children’s Fair). The first Bal-Melava was organized on Friday, 25th Nov 2011 at Chiravli Village in Shahapur Block of Thane District. Around 500 school children from our intervention area assembled to celebrate Children’s Day and Child Rights Day. On this occasion cultural programs were performed by school children under various categories such as group dance/solo dance/solo and group songs and the best performances were judged by a panel of three judges and were awarded prizes. Different stalls were put up to give information about health, hygiene and sanitation issues. Games and interactive programs were also organized which became major attractions for the school children as the winners took back home small gifts. A Health check up camp was organized in collaboration with the Government Dental College and protein powder was distributed to all the school children by an NGO Americares.
The following year, on December 18, 2012 second Bal-Melava was organized at Zilla Parishad School, Kanva. The event brought more than four hundred and fifty school children and about one hundred teachers and guests who gathered to encourage and support them. The students participated in group singing, solo and group dance and skit competitions. Population First held an exhibition where students displayed models of various initiatives undertaken by our organization in the villages of Shahapur.

Initiatives such as solar energy generator and vermi-compost manufacturing unit were displayed.

Awards given to schools under the Campaign:

AwardWinner Z. P. School
Ideal Kitchen Garden    - FirstKanva
Ideal Kitchen Garden    - SecondDehna
Ideal School - FirstKharivali
Ideal School -    SecondGegaon
Ideal Bal    Panchayat (Children’s Cabinet) - FirstAlyani
Ideal Bal    Panchayat (Children’s Cabinet) - SecondApta

Third year in a row, 350 students were part of the Bal-Melava organized on 7th December 2013 in Shahpur as part of Children’s Day celebrations. The event was held to celebrate the success of the ‘Vikasdoots’ as Change Agents in bringing positive change in their schools and villages by spreading the hygiene and sanitation messages through Vikas Premi Shala Abhiyan. 13 Zilla Parishad schools participated in the campaign. To measure the success of the campaign, the efforts of participating schools were categorized in following subjects and criteria:

  1. Adarsh Bal Panchayat (Ideal Students’ Cabinet)
  2. Adarsh Shala (Ideal School) 
  3. Adarsh Shaleya Vyavasthapan Samiti (Ideal School Management Committee)

Before presenting the awards for the aforementioned categories, the children presented cultural programs. Compeering was done by students of Sakadbao and Payarwadi School. Dr Nichat, Ext. officer Health Dept., Shahpur block graced the occasion as Chief Guest along with Dr Sharada.

Following are the winners of the Vikas Premi Shala Abhiyan 2013;

AwardWinner Z. P. School
Ideal School Management Committee - FirstDehna
Ideal School - FirstPayarwadi
Ideal School - SecondAwre
Ideal Bal Panchayat (Children’s Cabinet) - FirstManekhind
Ideal Bal Panchayat (Children’s Cabinet) - SecondSapgaon and Sakadbao
Special Jury AwardTaharpur and Pivali Highschool
Bhagyashree Davre, Kendra Pramukh, Alyani-Gegaon said, “The perspective of the students on personal hygiene and sanitation has changed a lot. More importantly, the trained students now ask questions. Population First should conduct this training in all the schools.”

Meena Patekar, member of School Management Committee, Z. P. School Dehna said, “The building material for toilet was lying in my house but the work was not starting due to one or the other reasons. Vikasdoot Sonalli Patekar followed up with me persistently and made me start the construction. Thanks to her I have built the toilet in my house.”

Donate : The cost of  implementing SID programme in a school is Rs. 15,000/- To Donate Click Here