The Nirmal Bharat Yatra

was a sanitation & hygiene awareness & behavior change campaign conceptualized & implemented by WASH United & Quicksand. It travelled 2,000 kms across rural parts of 5 Indian states between 2nd October 2012 & 19th November 2012.

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Tip-Tap Hurray!

In our WASH in Schools Program in Sangod just outside of Kota, we tried out something new. Instead of just assisting teachers in building a TippyTap in their school, we have now included a TippyTap construction competition for school students.  And as WASH United is all about sports, this competition fits beautifully into our curricula, and in the same time addresses the lack of handwashing infrastructure in schools.

Well, almost 90% of the schools visited have a handpump on their compound, and indicate that they use it for handwashing, too. But often the handpump is not located near toilets or the dining area; and soap is nowhere to be seen.  That is why a well-located TippyTap with soap safely tied on a string, where kids do not touch the tap with their dirty hands and only use a bit of water is so beautiful.

How does the competition work?

We build one model TippyTap in case the school hasn’t built one already.  Then we pick 3 teams of 4-5 students from the audience. We provide each team with:

-       1 small container / jerrycan (eventually already with pierced holes)

-       1 bar of soap

-       4 strings

-       2 larger poles for the side (eventually already digged in)

-       2 smaller size sticks

It takes usually 5-10 minutes until the team has completed their TippyTap.

The audience will vote for the winner after trying out the different models.  The winner is not necessarily the fastest one, but the one with the sturdiest and best functioning TippyTap.  We will leave the model TippyTap in the school.

Through this competition we manage to snatch two very important side benefits: First, the kids know how to build and repair their school’s Tippy Tap.  And because kids are often overexcited to use it, sometimes the string breaks on the pedal. Now they know how to fix it, instead of waiting for a teacher to do it.  Second, and more importantly, the kids learn how easy it is to do build one themselves and they can motivate their parents at home to build one as well.

The TippyTap construction is literally “kinderleicht“ (as we say in German = easy for kids).

So let’s shout:  Tip-Tap Hurray!

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