Asha undertook the construction of 3 new toilet complexes and the repair of one at schools in Thiruvallur and Thoothukudi District. These were completed and inaugurated in June/July.
Sugadharam – Pearl and Sangamam Projects
Sugadharam is Asha’s initiative aimed at building toilets in schools that either lack this facility or where the toilets are in bad shape and need repairs. Sometimes, government initiatives lead to the construction of toilets, but the maintenance budget does not suffice often leading to poor sanitary facilities.
Under the Sugadharam 2023 project, this year, construction of new toilets at two locations PUMS (Public Union Middle School) Kayathar South, and PUMS Karadikulam and repair work at one PUPS (Public Union Primary School) was taken up and completed by June 2023. PUMS Kayathar South, PUMS Karadikulam and PUPS Karadikulam Colony fall under our Pearl project which covers the Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu.
Here are the photos from these schools.
The construction of this toilet was taken up under the Sugadharam funding from Asha Silicon Valley received in 2022 summer. The other work taken up at that time were compelted immediately. Namely, toilet repair work at Koovachipatti in Thoothukudi district and repair work at Kosavanpalayam and Old Thirupatchur. We had engaged a contractor to build this toilet for us. Even though the contractor started the work way back in April 2022, they kept delaying the work. Finally, we decided to take up the remaining work ourselves and completed it over the last two months.
This is a school under our Sangamam project which covers the Thiruvallur district. The school that they had collapsed during the rains in 2021 and the school did not have a toilet of its own. Around 34 children study in this school and were forced to use the ground in the vicinity for sanitation. The headmaster of the school, parents and the children requested Asha to help build proper toilet facility. Since Asha has been supporting this school for several years, we decided to take up the request.
This was a new toilet with portions for both boys and girls. It is a 15’ by 11’ toilet. One portion of 15’ by 5’ was to have a closed toilet and open to air urinal for boys and a similar area for the girls. The construction also involved installation of a new septic tank. New water pipeline connection was set up and the water tank was repaired. The total cost of construction and repairs amounted to INR 3,58,200. After the long delay, the building was ready for inauguration 2 July, 2023. The inauguration was attended by the School teachers, parents, children and others.
PUMS Kayathar South
This school has a total of 324 students from class 1 to 8. There are around 70 children studying in kindergarten and a total of 220 girls across KG to 8. The toilet facility provided by the government was not up to the mark. For a capacity of 324 students, there was only 1 toilet for boys and girls each. While the boys’ toilet had a urinal, the girls’ toilet did not. The toilet has water logging issues, there was no septic tank facility, and the place was badly damaged as a result of lack of maintenance over time. The girls were forced to use the toilets in batches or had to wait for very long for their turn since only 1 bathroom like room was made accessible. Considering all these inconveniences to the children, the need for a new toilet became a pressing issue.
Since the team of Asha For Education would frequent this school for training, meetings, school days and other activities, the school requested us to help them improve on this facility which was largely lacking. As a result, we decided to take up this task.
The toilet construction began on 23 April 2023. The building was 15’ by 12’. It had three 5’ x 3’ size chambers, with 2 Indian toilets and one western toilet. Rest of the area was the urinal. A washbasin was also provided. The old toilets were in bad shape, hence they had to be demolished and rebuilt. Since there was no septic tank, we had one installed for the chambers and one was put into the ground connecting the main toilet.
Since Asha has been an integral part of the school in Kayathar South, the toilet construction was welcomed by everyone. Since it was a school with a larger strength, we were not able to construct during school working hours and had to work around the school working hours. We faced no issues from anyone in the local panchayat or other agencies. The construction was completed on 15 June, 2023.
The inauguration for the toilets was done by Mr. Rajaram on 22 June, 2023. The school had organized a big function during their daily school assembly time. They had also invited the press from the popular Tamil paper, Dhina Malar. The school HM and several teachers spoke and thanked Asha profusely for this help. Rajaram and Murugan received Pon-adai on behalf of Asha and spoke about their commitment to help PUMS Kayathar South and other schools such as these.
Karadikulam is a small rural village. There are around 165 students in this government school who mainly belong to the SC/ST caste. The school had a toilet but like others, it was under poor or no maintenance and was in a bad state. The boys would generally urinate out in the open and since the facility in the school was poor, the girls were also forced to go in the open when need arose. Since the school covered grades 1 to 8th, it was observed that girls attending classes from 5th above needed safe and hygienic bathroom facility on priority.
We were not able to take up the demolition of the toilet available since the Union had to be involved and taking permission and getting approvals to carry on demolition and reconstruction would be a long drawn process. The only way was to build a separate toilet in addition to the one provided. We estimated that it would cost us nearly as much as building toilets in Kayathar South did and we then started work around February 2023. It took about two months to complete the construction. The new toilets were provided to the school in April 2023 are being used by the girls since. The old toilet was repaired and is being used by the boys now.
The new toilets were inaugurated by Rajaram and Bhaskar on 23 June, 2023. The school organized a small function for the inauguration. Rajaram and Bhaskar spoke of their commitment to help schools such and these and the importance of toilet. The school teachers also thanked Asha for the work done.
PUPS Karadikulam Colony
Here we took up the work of repair work at the cost of Rs. 60,279. The school already had toilets but like others, it was badly managed and needed repairs. We took up the task of replacing the commodes, doing the plumbing work required, and installing a new wash basin. Earlier the floors were just cemented. We put in tiles in all chambers and the toilets with urinals. One of the boys’ toilets had just a roof and did not even have a cemented floor. We renovated the space by putting new tiles, a cemented roof and new pipeline. All the new toilets were given a fresh coat of paint.
The newly completed toilets were inaugurated on 23 June, 2023 by Rajaram and Bhaskar. One of the very refreshing aspect of this school is the participation of the parents of the children in the school activity. Even when Asha started working with the school 4 or 5 years back, the parents had met us and personally requested us to take up the support for this school. This time too for the inauguration function some 20 parents including all the members of the Parent Teachers Association and the School Management Committee had come. Rajaram and Bhaskar spoke to the parents. The parents and the teachers thanked Asha for the supported provided over the years and requested us to continue this.
Cost of Construction
|PUMS Kayathar South|
|Pups Karadikulam Colony|
The cost at Gandhigramam exceeded the budget because of the long delay and because the contractor did not complete the work promised.