This is how WATER BELL started in Begusarai Goverment Schools. I am pleased to inform you that the Water Bell Concept is going to initiate for the very first time in our school MS Bihat, Barauni in the state Bihar with the permission of H.M. Sir Ranjan Kumar.
Other than this, this process is already running in states Kerela, Karnataka, and Telangana. The concept started from a primary school in Kerela. The idea of Water bell has emerged because of the rise in diseases among the people due to less intake of water. In India, doctors say that children especially girls, avoid drinking water due to lack of clean and adequate toilet facilities in the schools. This often leads to complaints of mild dehydration and in many cases urinary infections. There is no official order to implement this initiative.
Water Bell is mandatory once in a day, other than regular days of school. (If there is exams or any other important activities going on in the school)
Daily Timings of Water Bell
2. Before MDM
Benefits of Drinking Water
• Carrying nutrients and oxygen to our cells
• Flushing bacteria from our bladder
• Aiding digestion
• Preventing Constipation
• Normalizing Blood Pressure
• Stabilizing the heartbeat
• Cushioning Joints
• Protecting organs and tissues
• Regulating body temperature
• Maintaining Electrolyte (Sodium) Balance.
Warning Signs of Dehydration
It includes weakness, low BP, dizziness, confusion, or urine that’s dark in color.
Parameters of Water
I am going to explore and build discussion more about Parameters along with Baal Sansad, Baal Sabha, & Meena Manch members concerning below elements permissible limits in drinking water.
Color, odor, pH, total dissolved solids, hardness, alkalinity, elemental compounds such as iron, manganese, sulfate, nitrate, chloride, fluoride, arsenic, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, mercury, zinc and coliform bacteria.
Facts and Suggestions
• 60% of body weight is made up of water.
• 3.7 liter for men; 2.7 liters for women;
• 8 glass of water a day.
• Students shouldn’t be forced by teachers to drink water during the water bell.
Things to ponder upon WATER BELL for BEGUSARAI Government Schools. The above document was the first draft of the process. Within the period of a fortnight, the water bell was adopted by 15 plus government schools of Begusarai.
REAL-LIFE INCIDENTS SHARING
Sharing real-life incidents were my major support while describing the benefits of drinking water to the students. It was easy for the students to connect with me & vice-versa.
I told my school days incident, that I was the one among the girls who fainted in assembly two times in 11th standard that was due to irregular intake of water or unawareness about the permissible quantity should be taken.
While recalling the above occurrence, Questions were asked in the assembly itself who has ever felt it. There were several responses to every school’s assembly. Girls kept on fainting on every other day, It can be because of less water intake or might be because of any other reason which we can’t able to figure out so easily. Why not we can take care of our water intake? So it was very easy for them to come on the same page as I was.
From every school, there is one teacher mostly PT teacher who used to explain the uses of drinking water correctly at a particular temperature, at a particular time. These teachers help a lot the water bell to be adapted as a process by the students.
I along with my block partner Ajay went to the school, Middle School Maidabhabangama, Barauni. The headmaster was aligned with our process. But as soon as we approached the girls' class to tell about Water bell, after an interaction with girls of 9th class, we came to know that there was no functional toilet in that school. Teachers also stated the same thing. I also observed the toilet areas, that day (second time). It was in pathetic condition. Only boys use that space, that was too open.
We talked to Headmaster sir, Sir it is one of the main criteria of the Water Bell Process that your school should have a separate toilet for girls and boys. Let's forget about the water bell, Toilet is one of the basic requirement of school infrastructure. And we should also think about the female teachers in the school, The school strength is approximately 1100.
I also told my earlier experience in that school in the assessment when I need to leave from the school as there was no functional toilet (Ist time). After listening to the girls along with me and teachers, Sir promised that Toilet will be constructed at their earliest convenience. And separate Toilets were constructed in January with the help of the most impeccable tool of our organization ie Influence without Authority.
When I was doing my second School Ecosystem Immersion (SEI), ie. The first process of Gandhi fellowship. I was observing Chaturmasa fast at that time. So I was having one meal a day & I need to balance my soul and body together with the help of water intake.
At that time it was a very bad experience for me to not use the toilet because of the non-functionality of the toilets in that respective school (Middle School Kankaul, Begusarai). Most of the time I need to leave school when there is an urgency to go to the toilet.
After a week, I thought of talking to the headmaster as he was having a toilet keys with him. After talking to Headmaster I was able to unlock girls' toilets in the school, but that was too in vain as there were no water taps in the washrooms and handpump was too far from the washroom, was in front of Headmaster’s office.
Twenty days pass by this way, in that school. When the water bell concept was discussed with some of the school teachers. I can correlate with the pain, female teachers have to go with no functional toilet in the school premises. School Ecosystem Immersion process helps me a lot to build an understanding of what a teacher, student, and headmaster need to go to while being in school to cater to their roles and responsibilities.
When I told Cluster resource coordinator Rakesh Rajak Ji about the process, he immediately responded with a big yes to implement it in both demo schools. This was the first time when I was approaching a CRCC for this purpose, as Middle School Baro’s Headmaster was on leave for her daughter’s wedding.
There were several rumors were spreading in the school because in the past week several girls fainted during assembly. These casualties might be because of any reason but students have connected them to ghosts. CRCC sir invited me to tell you about the benefits of drinking water for the school students. I along with Ajay went there and told about the water bell process. Rumors vanished in a week. Now students were more conscious about water intake intervals and the benefits of drinking water.
What Water Bell Incorporates along with it?
Functional separate toilet for girls and boys
Potable water facility in every school premises which adopted the process
RO + UV water purifier to be installed in some schools soon
Students leaving classrooms for drinking water, this time can be utilized in studies
Causalities caused because of mild Dehydration can be minimized
General awareness about daily water intake with the right approach
Middle School Gadhara, distributed water bottles to students who forget to bring a water bottle in the water bottle in the initial days of the newly adopted process.
Middle School Maidabhabhangama, constructed toilet separate for boys and girls with the effect of the Water Bell process.
Students in their respective communities started creating awareness about drinking water.
Middle School Bihat got recognized on the national level by NCERT for incorporating Water Bell as a school process along with other commendable works of the school.
Water Bell in Bihar begged first-page space in the National newspaper, Times of India.
The process was started in winters as Phase I. After the successful incorporation of the process I want to work on it in Phase II ie in Academic Year 2020-2021.
In India, doctors say that children especially girls, avoid drinking water due to lack of clean and adequate facilities in the schools. This often leads complaints of mild dehydration and in many cases urinary infections. This small initiative will lead to Equality in future.
During a meeting with Begusarai District Magistrate (Arvind Kumar Verma ), This process gets a clean chit to be implemented in all government schools of Begusarai. I am willing to work on this along with some other new ideas when schools will be re-open after the pandemic caused by Covid-19.
Gandhi Fellow (Batch 12), Begusarai (Bihar)
Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership