The three schools I visited are ones that are getting rain-water harvesting tanks built on their roofs starting next week. They are going to get filtered rain water, free of fluoride and fit for drinking from the next month. I am going to try and define some needs and thus opportunities that I could take up.
Needs that I could address
> The children need to be aware of what the problem with their existing water is. Why they have dental fluorosis and how rain-water is going to help them.
> These tanks hold enough water for 150 days of the year (working days in school) and can provide just about 1litre per child during these days. Thus, it is important for them to conserve it while not compromising on their personal health and hygiene. Also, since it is only now that they are exposed to clean drinking water, it cannot be a direct 'save water' or 'use less water' message. It needs to be a subtle nudge that reminds them of what they should do.
> They need to come together and work with the teachers, as a community, in maintaining these tanks so that they feel a sense of ownership and can maintain the tanks well enough for them to function for long.
> There are many schools within a radius of 1-2 km. within this village. It would be good if this awareness spreads to them as well through some medium. It could then be scaled up. Even if it involves conducting workshops for 10 children from each school.
I would like to take up one of these schools first to see how much the students relate to water and what they feel the immediate need is. Do they even feel that there is a need for change? If so, how can I be involved in that?