The Sulabh School Sanitation Club is a child-centred and girl-led global movement of children and young people, engaged in bringing about positive social transformation in schools by empowering girls through hygiene education.
It is a movement that operates in schools and communities with girls taking the lead; boys acting as strategic allies while the adult women and men, provide the knowledge and expertise. This club was founded by Dr.Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement. So far 64 clubs in 12 states of India and six clubs in Nepal and Bhutan have been set up. About 6,500 school children in more than 200 schools have been trained in school sanitation and hygiene education and menstrual health.
With the advent of the Sulabh School Sanitation Club, another important aspect of pupils’ relationships emerged – peer guidance, counseling and mentoring. Students, especially those in leadership, offer themselves to others for counseling. Girls who need counseling about issues like menstruation, for example, find a willing ear in their peers. Elder children have also taken on the responsibility of mentoring younger children, helping them cope with situations that would otherwise have been hard for them to deal with. The members of the club present drama and songs with key messages on hygiene and sanitation. The School Sanitation Club is composed of students, both boys and girls, ranging from 10 to 16 years of age. They are in charge of looking after the school’s water and sanitation facilities, and spreading hygiene messages among their peers.
Children need to get involved in the issues that concern them because they are experts in this matter. They are very eager to learn and help others through their active, energetic, enthusiastic and curious behavior. So childhood is the best time to learn about hygiene and sanitation.