Hyderabad: We all remember asking permission from our teachers to drink water and to go to the toilet during school hours. However, students in Telangana no longer need to ask for consent to drink water. The Education department will establish a ‘water bell’ following the trend from Kerala in Telangana schools to inform students to drink water.
Concerned about students’ low consumption of water during school hours, TRS party activist Abdul Kaleem shared Kerala’s initiative. He requested the state Education Minister Patlolla Sabitha Indra Reddy to implement the same in Telangana schools.
Kaleem tweeted on Wednesday, “Implementation of mandatory water bell will help our students to maintain health. Humbly request to please consider. @KTRTRS @SabithaindraTRS (sic).”
Quickly responding to Kaleem’s tweet, Indra Reddy immediately ordered all District Education Officers to implement the same in Telangana schools.
Kerala schools provide a unique interval called ‘water bell’ to students every day at a fixed time. Kerala implemented this initiative aiming to avoid health issues due to low consumption of water. The water bell will ring twice or thrice a day in some schools to alert students to consume water. Reportedly, Karnataka govt is set to follow the same initiative to help students lead a healthy lifestyle.
Speaking to NewsMeter, Abdul Kaleem said, “I felt that our kids are being cornered in schools as they need permission to drink water and visit the washroom, which is also the reason for a lot of health problems among them. The water bell initiative by Kerala is producing good results.”
Dr K Mahesh Kumar, President of Health Care Reforms Doctor Associations (HRDA) and Resident Doctor in Osmania Medical College, told NewsMeter that it’s good to implement this system in schools. “Water constitutes 70 per cent of a human body’s weight. It acts as a medium for absorption of nutrients and helps in the enzymatic reactions in cells for the metabolism of nutrients. Water is essential for the elimination of toxins from the body through the excretory system. Nowadays, school students are not drinking an adequate amount of water due to hectic works. It results in urinary infections, improper digestion and constipation. Hence such an alarm system will to avoid such situations and improve the growth of school-going children,” he said.
Chava Ravi from Telangana United Teachers Federation (TUTF) welcomed the move by the education minister and said that is a good initiative. “It’s a good initiative. TUTF appreciates the decision of the Kerala government. It should be implemented in our state as well.”
Lack of toilets in Telangana Schools
Telangana students consume a low amount of water because of a lack of toilets in state schools, says Teacher Associations. According to the Annual Status of Education (ASER) report 2018, 15 per cent of 29,500 govt and govt-aided schools don’t have toilets.
“Students, particularly girls, are consuming less water — once in the afternoon and once in the evening. Some students are not taking toilet breaks because of the toilet situation in many schools. There is an insufficient number of toilets, or they are in a dilapidated condition. Girls feel shy to ask a teacher in the middle of the class,” added Chava Ravi
Abdul Kaleem agreed and added that many students avoid going to toilets. “Recently, MP Santosh released his MP funds to construct toilets in one of the government schools. The state government is also planning to construct toilets in the required places. I have also raised the same request to build more toilets.”