HEEALS (Health, Education, Environment, & Livelihood Society)
Chitra, aged 13, is the first child that we have sponsored to go to school, at HEEALS. She is being sponsored by Sonika, a member of the HEEALs team. She is in 8th class and loves science! Her mother works as a maid and Chitra has two younger brothers. Due to the recent loss of her father, her mother was unable to pay for all of her children to attend school and so Chitra had to drop out. With the persuasion of her school, and HEEALS, Chitra is now back in school and has a whole year’s worth of education paid for her. We wish her all the best in the year ahead!
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From left to right: Chitra’s mother, Sonika (Chitra’s sponsor) and Chitra.
DID YOU KNOW?
India is known as the defecation capital of the world with 638 million people defecating in the open. People have more mobile phones and easier access to banks than toilets.
66 % of girls’ schools do not have a functioning female toilet in India resulting in a drop out rate of more than 40% after completing just year five.
Around 23 % of girls drop out of school every year in India due to lack of menstrual hygiene facilities including toilets or adequate disposal units for sanitary pads.
Around 1,000 children die every day in India because of diarrhoea.
This figure equals the number of children dying due to Aids, measles and malaria combined. More than half of the Indian population do not wash their hands after defecation, making respiratory and gastrointestinal infections major killers among children and adults alike.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Young girls and women are the major victims of these issues, suffering health problems, economic disparity, sexual violence, harassment and much more.
At Heeals we plan to create international awareness about sanitation, menstrual hygiene, toilets and unsafe drinking water, and its effect on female education and health. In particular we want to target those living in rural areas, urban slums, refugee camps and orphanages. Alongside our awareness campaign, we also want to ensure that communities are equipped to tackle these issues, by providing toilets in the areas most at risk, and by providing things such as water purification tablets, water tanks, soap and sanitary towels for young girls.
But we can't do this alone and government funding is far from easy to secure.
World Voice For WASH