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DMU students help hundreds of girls to stay in school thanks to washroom programme

Hundreds of girls have been helped to stay on in education in India thanks to a project to build washrooms at their schools.

Students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have so far built two washrooms at Government schools in Indore, India.

washrooms inset

In the latest visit, to Pagnispaga School, the team of students built what was the first working toilet that the school had ever had replacing its extremely basic facilities.

Square Mile outreach officer Jessica Bogic was part of the team who helped build the washroom. She told how it had transformed the children’s school lives.

She said: “At the school, when we built the washroom, they were literally saying things like ‘I am going to be a doctor’ ‘I am going to be a scientist’. They genuinely said that now, they have the opportunity to finish their education because they have a washroom. Yet to us, it’s just this thing that we don’t even think about, that we take for granted.”

Nationally some 40 per cent of children, many of them girls, drop out of school by 14 because there is no toilet or no privacy. A study by children’s rights organisation CRY found one in 10 schools do not have basic facilities and in 34% of schools, toilets are unusable. For every washroom built, it is estimated 150 girls will stay on in school.

Pagnispaga school has about 600 pupils aged from infants to 14 and 15. Students were able to spend time with the pupils taking part in classes as well as experiencing Indian culture and visiting landmarks.

The programme is part of DMU Square Mile India, which aims to use the skills of students and staff to benefit communities in India. Students work on projects that will benefit the community, using the expertise gained in their degree studies to run health programmes, sustainable energy projects and volunteer in schools.

Academics will contribute their research expertise, working with communities on projects that will have a real impact upon people’s lives.

RELATED NEWS:
* Education student learns life lessons in children's home
* Find out more about Square Mile India
* 'India visit changed our lives'

DMU students stayed at Daly College in Indore, which has a washroom building programme. So far it has built 16 washrooms in Government schools of which DMU have contributed to two. DMU is able to send students on enhancement week.  
 
Business student Bavia Dulabh has been part of the washroom project. He said: “One of the reasons I went was because I felt it was my duty. I’m Indian but I have no been through the struggle that many Indians go through every day. It was important to me to give back.


“In years to come many other toilets will be build to keep more children in education.”

Posted on Thursday 10th March 2016

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