Published: 26th November 2019
After Kerala and AP, now schools in Ganjam to have water bells
Some water bottles have been provided to the students by the district officials. Even the school has purchased a few hundred bottles for the students
At 11.40 am on November 25, Collector of Ganjam Vijay Amruta Kulange rang the bell at the Girl's High School along Giri Road in Berhampur, Odisha, following which, students were requested to drink water from their water bottles. This marked the launch of the 'water bell' initiative. Kulange along with BeMC Commissioner Chakraborty Singh Rathore, Sub-Collector SD Bhausaheb and District Education Officer (DEO) Sanatan Panda joined the students and drank water too.
The collector informed that Ganjam district introduced the 'water bell' initiative in schools to ensure that children drink adequate quantity of water. All the 4,000 schools in the district have been instructed to ring three 'water bells' to remind children of drinking water. The initiative aims to make drinking water a habit among children to ensure that they stay hydrated, Kulange said.
Headmaster in-charge of the school Ram Narayan Panda informed that while some water bottles were provided by the district officials, the school had purchased a few hundred bottles. The initiative was first started in Kerala and later introduced in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. DEO Panda said the water bells will be rung at 11.40 am, 1.30 pm and 3.15 pm from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, the bell would be rung at 8 am, 9.30 am and 10.50 am, each having a break for five minutes.
Panda clarified that the bottles provided to students are not made of single-use plastic. Where bottles are not available, glasses will be used until the necessary arrangements are made. It has been found that students, particularly girls, don't drink enough water to avoid frequent visits to toilets. This initiative is meant to prevent such practices, he added. Hailing the initiative, several intellectuals of the city urged the administration to ensure the provision of safe drinking water in schools in rural areas of the district.