After the southern states, Odisha will introduce ‘water bells’ in schools to ensure that children drink an adequate quantity of water, a senior official said on Sunday. All the schools in Ganjam district have been instructed to ring three ‘water bells’ from Monday to remind children of drinking water, she said.
“We have decided to introduce water bells in all the schools in the district, including government, private and Anganwadi ones, from November 25. Necessary instruction has been issued to school authorities,” said District Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange.
The collector said the initiative aims at making drinking water a habit among children to ensure that they stay hydrated.
The initiative was first started in Kerala and replicated in Karnataka and Telangana while Andhra Pradesh is mooting to implement it across the state, she said. Ganjam District Education Officer (DEO) Sanatan Panda said the water bells will be rung at 11.40 am, 1.30 pm and 3.15 pm from Mondays to Fridays.
“On Saturdays, the bells would be rung at 8 am, 9.30 am and 10.50 am. Each break will last for five minutes and it will be compulsory for every student to drink water during that period,” he said. Panda said all the schools in the district have drinking water facilities.”Most of the children carry water bottles to the schools. Those who do not have bottles can drink water from the institutes’ facilities,” he said.
The DEO said the collector is mooting to provide the children with water bottles, that are not made of single-use plastic, under the ‘Mo School’ (My school) initiative. However, that may take some time, he said. Despite repeated reminders of the teachers, it was found that students, especially girls, were not drinking adequate quantity of water to avoid frequent visits to the toilets.