Education and Amenities for the Girl Child
CTF believes that right to living with dignity and right to education go hand-in-hand and are fundamental to a progressive society.
CTF places emphasis on the education of the girl child and the alleviating reasons for the abysmally high dropout rate of schoolgirls. It has been found that a major and decisive factor for high dropout rate of schoolgirls is not traditional outlooks or the want of social change; it is the absence of basic toilet amenities. 45% of all government schools lack basic amenities.
The consequences of the above statistics are very serious in terms of the health of the children studying in these schools. It has a direct bearing on the number of girl children, who may otherwise be willing and economically capable of continuing their education, to drop out of school and stop their education. Such a state of affairs leads to a violation of Article 21A of the Constitution, which promises the right to education.
Thus, CTF intends to initiate a campaign to provide good quality toilet facilities for girls in government schools to ensure that no child has to abandon her education merely because of the want of a basic amenity at school. Conventional toilet facilities require regular maintenance, which is not done. The CTF has accordingly identified “e-toilets” as the way forward. These toilets operate electronically using solar power and flush economically gauging the quantity of water required by the amount of time the user spends in the facility. After every 20-25 flushes, the e-toilet cleans itself, washing not just the privy but also the surrounding floor area. The result is that the toilets last much longer than conventional toilets and are more reliable in assuring privacy as well as hygiene.
The proposal is to construct 200 e-toilets for a start, with one half in Thiruvananthapuram and the other in Kolkata, where there is considerable donor interest. Thereafter it is aimed to take the campaign nationwide and talks are on for projects in Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Assam, and other states also. The cost for constructing each such toilet (and including the necessary 7-year maintenance contract) is in the vicinity of Rs. 5 lakhs, making the total requirement for the first leg of the campaign approximately Rs. 10 crore, though it is hoped that economies of scale will help reduce that sum.
CTF also works with various educational institutions to extend co-branded grants and scholarships that can transform the life of individuals in their path to knowledge and achievement. Generating employment through vocational training is a key component in our action plan.