India – New toilets benefit students

04 April 2023

(ANS – New Rochelle) – St. John Paul II School in the community of Maram Khullen, located Manipur, India, has a new toilet complex thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The project is part of the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The school provides education to 170 students, ages 4-13, with the support of 10 staff members.

The funding was utilized for construction of the entire complex from the foundation to the ceiling and walls. Funding was also used to tile the floor, paint the entire building, and install the toilets and partition them. Separate areas of the building were provided for both boys and girls.

Father Sebastian Chennoth, who is in charge of the school, said, “The whole school will benefit from the toilet complex. It is especially true for the girls in the higher classes. It was not easy for them prior to the new complex. This was more embarrassing when some were sick or had stomach troubles. A few students even used to run to the neighboring houses for their needs.”

Houdina, a girl in class 7, expressed her gratitude for the new toilet complex. “I am very happy now. I don’t feel embarrassed anymore. I never went during school recess to the toilet, but used to go during class time to avoid the gaze of the boys.”

With more than 1.4 billion people, India’s growing population is putting a severe strain on the country’s natural resources. According to Water.org, 91 million people lack access to safe water, and 746 million people lack access to safely managed household sanitation facilities.

While India has made some progress in the supply of safe water, there remain gross disparities in safe water access across the country. The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water with diarrhea alone causing more than 1,600 deaths daily. Access to proper sanitation is extremely poor, particularly in rural areas where only 14 percent of the population has access to a latrine.

Source: Salesian Missions

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