Drink on the Sound of the Bell: Kerala Schools' Initiative to Have Students Consume More Water
Principal of St Jospesh's Higher Secondary School in Kerala's Kannur district said that initiative was implemented as the students are facing health issues due to the lack of water intake.
File image. (Image: Reuters)
In St Joseph’s Higher Secondary School in Kerala’s Kannur district, a bell rings three minutes before the first interval at 11.15 am every day. On hearing the clang, the students immediately open their bags, take out their bottles and drink water. With 935 participating students from classes 5 to 10, the ‘Water Bell’ initiative has been implemented under 25 divisions for the last two months in the hilly hamlet about 500 Kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram.
"We found that a lot of students are facing health issues due to the lack of water intake. Many of these problems like urinary infection can be solved by drinking water regularly. Even the United Nations has taken up the issue to create awareness among the students. So, we launched this project Water Bell on September 17," headmaster Mathew O. told News18.com.
“We have seen many students taking their water bottles back home without having consumed water and hence we thought of introducing the concept of water bell, as recommended by the UN, and it was launched with the active support of KR Valsala, the junior health inspector at Peravoor taluk hospital,” he said.
According to him, it is not a unique project, as a few schools have already launched it in different parts of the state. "We don't know about the progress of their projects. Here we got a positive impact on their health, and the school authorities have also made sure that there is sufficient drinking water available in the school which functions from 9.30 am to 4 pm. We have made the Water Bell mandatory once in a day," said Mathew.
Officials in the education department said that the initiative has solely been taken up by the Parent-Teacher Associations of various schools. "There is no official order to implement this. We are aware that some schools have started the Water Bell initiative. This includes two in Thiruvananthapuram and two in Palakkad," an official said.
Meanwhile, the Peravoor School also started another health initiative on the lines of the Water Bell for students benefit. “It is called a Walk Bell. Nowadays most of the students don’t walk. They come to school and return homes in their vehicles. So we have introduced ten minutes of walking on our 400-meter track on the last period on Thursdays in October. The students will walk three times in the track, which is around 1200 meters,” said Mathew, who was a district-level basketball player during his student days.
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