It was in late-2019 that Dr R G Nadadur, President of the Environment Association of Bangalore (EAB) had a discussion with Mrs. Gayatri Devi, Block Education Officer of Devanahalli Block in Bengaluru Rural District.
The meeting was an exploratory one as EAB was trying to look at some new and innovative and useful projects to take up. Mrs. Gayatri Devi mentioned that she was facing a problem of drop-out of girl students at the High School level. This was causing her a lot of worry.
The usual reasons that were given for drop-out of girl students at the High School level are – the need for the elder girls to look after younger siblings at home, to do work at home so that the mother can work outside and earn, to work outside and earn some money for the family, etc. Mrs Gayatri Devi was candid and told Dr Nadadur that a serious problem was the lack of water in the toilets in schools. Boys could manage somehow but, the shy girls at the High School level really could not. Hence, they just dropped out of school.
Dr Nadadur and his team brainstormed and came up with an idea. This was to take up Rain Water Harvesting in the schools. The problem of non-supply of water from the usual source, was acutely felt during the Summer months before school closed for the vacation. If water was stored during the Monsoon, it could be used during the Summer months.
This idea was shared with Mrs Gayatri Devi and her team. They found it to be a good one and requested Dr Nadadur to take up the Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) work in two schools as soon as possible. One was the Government Girls High School in Devanahalli Town. The other was the Government Higher Primary School in Yaliyur, which was about 20 kilometers from Devanahalli Town.
The two RWH works were taken up with the funds that were available with EAB. There was also some financial support from the Graamanthara Trust, led by Mrs Usha Shetty. The planning for the two projects was done with support from the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, especially Dr Vijay. The projects were executed with the support of the Oxford English School, Devanahalli, especially Mr K M Subbaiah and Mr Ramachandra Gowda.
The RWH Project of EAB involves construction of a sump which can store a large quantity of water. The water is harvested during the monsoon, from the terraces of buildings in the school. When required, the stored rain water is pumped from the sump to different overhead tanks. The water is used for toilets, especially girls toilets, and also for washing and cleaning.
Two projects have been completed and dedicated to the schools. A third RWH Project has been taken up in the Government High School in Narayanapura, about 25 kilometers from Devanahalli Town. It is expected to be completed by the end of September 2020. It will be dedicated to the school soon after.
Recently, EAB received feedback that there are enquiries about admissions in the two schools where RWH has been done. EAB is optimistic that the RWH projects will help to improve the attendance of girl students at the High School level. EAB thanks various organizations and individuals for their kind support. EAB seeks the support of all like-minded persons and organizations in executing many more RWH projects in Government Schools in Devanahalli Block