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“We will make our village ODF” – a CAIRN initiative

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Children can learn what adults cannot and children can do things that adults never will. That’s why it did not come as a surprise when the children of a secondary school in Barmer got together, folded their hands and pleaded their family members to build toilets in their houses. Their act of pleading their elders to construct a toilet was a spectacle of innocence and perseverance. They were able to convince their parents to build toilets and use them for their children’s sake.

The children were motivated by the CAIRN supported FINISH-RDO team to understand the benefits of sanitation and also become the carriers of the message of sanitation. The process started in July.

On July 16, the CLTS experts from the team of CAIRN supported FINISH-RDO organized a session with the primary school children. Over 135 students and 25 teachers were present in the meeting. Throughout the session, the team endeavored to educate the children through storytelling, songs, social mapping on the importance of sanitation and how hygiene could improve their health and enhance their efficiency.

The students were given information on the importance of construction and usage of toilets and were asked to meet again after seven days.

A week later, the team met the students of each class separately and told them about the steps they would be required to take to contribute to the construction and usage of toilets.

Subsequently, the students were asked to show their village to the CAIRN supported FINISH-RDO Team at 8 am on the weekend. The team went to each household from which the children belonged and also to a few other households.

The children were asked to enlighten their family members, especially the eldest members of their families, on the benefits of constructing and using a toilet and not defecating in the open. The children folded their hands and pleaded their family members to construct and use toilets. It was a very heart-warming sight wherein the children were literally seen begging their family members to construct toilets.

The families were given every piece of information required to construct the toilet and assured of any help that they would require.

The Family members understood the process and the importance of constructing a toilet and assured their children of constructing a toilet within one week.

A week later, the CAIRN supported FINISH-RDO team returned to the school to meet the children and convince their neighbours to construct toilets and practice sanitation practices.

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