Aamir Khan to promote school sanitation

The actor to be the brand ambassador of national school sanitation program launched today


Jasleen Kaur | April 27, 2010

Amir Khan and Minister of State for HRD D. Purandeshwari releasing the School Sanitation report
Amir Khan and Minister of State for HRD D. Purandeshwari releasing the School Sanitation report

The ministries of human resource development and urban development jointly launched the national school sanitation programme here on Tuesday. Aamir Khan was declared the brand ambassador for the programme. Over 1,000 students and teachers from various schools in and around Delhi participated in the programme. The programme is meant to bring better sanitation in urban areas and in schools.

It is estimated that 17 percent of the urban population in India has no access to any sanitary facilities, while 50-80 percent of the waste water is disposed of untreated. It is in this backdrop that a national urban sanitation task force was constituted in 2005 to take stock of the situation and formulate policy to deal with the challanges in urban sanitation. Based on the recommendations made by this task force, the central government approved the national urban sanitation policy in October 2008.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said, "We find a large number of people migrating from rural areas to urban areas. And in cities there is lack of facility as well as infrastructure. So it becomes very important to ensure proper sanitation facility in urban areas." The sanitation is still not upto the mark in schools. The officials of HRD ministry said there were just 55 percent schools in the country that had seperate toilets for girls, but the Right to Education Act would require all schools to have seperate toilets. That would ensure more girls coming to study in schools.

The programme is first starting in all the CBSE schools and will be later taken to schools across the country. On initiating the programme at school level, Sibal said,"When I saw Aamir's film '3 Idiots', I must confess I realised that I am an idiot and these children are wise. They are future adults. So we decided to partner with them for any initiative."

During the launch of the programme a School Sanitation Manual was released which shall be the part of the CBSE curriculum. Along with that a Bio-dynamic waste segregation programme and school sanitation report was also released. Children even had an interactive open house session with both the ministers and Amir Khan. During which one of the children asked urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy on why was it becoming impossible to clean Yamuna even after huge expenditure of public funds. Reddy said, "I was scared that somebody will ask me this uncomfortable question on Yamuna. I really do not have any satifactory answer to this."



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