The importance of hand washing with soap can never be over estimated. Outcomes of various meta analysis between the year 2003 and 2010 have demonstrated upto 48% reduction in diarrhoeal diseases in children under five years of age. Diarrhea and pneumonia together account for almost 3.5 million deaths in children. Hand washing with soap had also started a reduction in the incidence of respiratory infection by more than 21%.
Rotary has collaborated with UNICEF for the comprehensive Water, sanitation and hygiene program (WASH) in schools to work towards the shared goals and vision of the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign. Rotary India in response to a call by our Prime minister Sh. Narendra Modi, signed the Chennai declaration on 16th December 2014 in the presence of Sh Venkaiah Naidu, to participate in the national campaign of Swachh Vidalaya Abhiyaan. As a follow up to this, Rotary India has entered into an understanding for operation and maintenance (O&M) of water and sanitation facilities and behavior change communication activities (BCC) on hygiene habits of school children. A key feature of the campaign is to ensure that government schools have a set of functioning and well maintained water, sanitation and hygiene facility. Rotary in India is committed to ensure establishment of these facilities in over 20,000 schools in two years.
The programme aims to improve hygiene practices in the community with the school children working as the agents of change.The impact of safe drinking water and sanitation facility in school will be to improve children's health and consequently improve the school attendance. This will in turn fulfill the universal right to education and health, enhance access to primary education prompt gender equality, in addition to preventing water hygiene and sanitation related diseases. The consequent improvement in nutrition is likely to prompt better growth and education.l leading to better performance in school and better economic development, by creating better opportunity for education and skill development. The WASH in schools is a pilot programme of Rotary foundation and will be implemented in five countries Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, India and Kenya. The programme will focus on monitoring the effect of the WASH and basic education programs on school attendance . A multi level approach and strategic partnership with UNICEF and with the world vision is expected to produce a healthy and protective school environment promoting equity and helping children realized their full potential.
The Rotary India literacy mission addresses the other major concern; that of education of children from the economically weaker sections, adult illiteracy and related issues. The TEACH program with its five verticals addresses Teacher support, E learning, Adult literacy, child development and Happy schools. The comprehensive program of creating and supporting education in all its facets when combined with the WASH program will ensure a healthy and literate India.
Skill development and vocational training programs, which have been created in collaboration with the Microsoft, NIIT Yuva Jyoti and Singer will ensure that those who have not been fortunate to complete their formal education will still be functionally employable and become independent. The natural progression will be of economic empowerment and wholesome development.
Rotary, a 111 old organization works in every community in over 220 countries through a volunteer base of 1.2 million Rotarians who form a global network of business, professional and community leaders. While they serve in countless ways, their efforts are focused in six key areas which address widespread humanitarian needs and issues of critical importance. The focus areas include peace and conflict resolution/prevention, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, maternal and child health and economic empowerment.
The Rotary foundation, a not for profit corporation has invested over 3 billion in various successful programs since its inception in 1917 and is celebrating 100 years now. Rotary, a leading partner in the global polio eradication initiative, helped to immunize over 2.5 billion children globally and contributed over a million dollars in this effort. The charity navigator has rated the Rotary foundation among the top 5 not for profit corporations due to the efficient and transparent utilization of the funds with over 92% of the funds reaching the ultimate beneficiary. Individual donors with a philanthropic outlook have continuously supported the Rotary in achieving thier goal of a better world. Corporations which have partnered in various initiatives include the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the Aditya Birla group Piramal industries, ONGC and several others.
Rotary district 3011, which includes clubs in Delhi and Haryana has served the communities since 1939. The signature projects of this illustrious include the Rotary blood bank, serving over 40000 people, the Rotary public school providing free quality education to over 625 children, the Rotary viklang kendra providing artificial limbs and mobility aids to several thousands, the institute rotary cancer hospital at the AIIMS and several other ongoing initiatives like the Free dialysis units, the Diabetes centre.