Berhampur: Addressing one of the major concerns of parents with school going children, the district administration of Ganjam in Odisha, has decided to introduce “water bells” in all the schools in the district.
All the schools in Ganjam district have been instructed to ring ‘water bells’ from Monday to remind children to drink water, said a senior official on Sunday. Ganjam is in the coastal belt of Odisha where the weather for most part of the year, tends to be hot and humid.
The initiative was first taken by Kerala and replicated in Karnataka and Telengana, while Andhra Pradesh is mooting to implement it across the state, she said.
“We have decided to introduce water bells in all the schools in the district, including government, private and Anganwadi, from November 25. Necessary instructions have been issued to the school authorities,” said Vijay Amruta Kulange, District Collector of Ganjam.
The Collector said the initiative aims at making drinking water a habit among children to ensure that they stay hydrated.
“The bells will be rung at 11.40 am, 1.30 pm and 3.15 pm on weekdays i.e. Monday-Friday and at 8 am, 9.30 am and 10.50 am on Saturdays. Each break will last for five minutes and it will be compulsory for each student to drink water during that period,” said Sanatan Panda, District Education Officer, Ganjam.
He said that all the schools in the district have drinking water facilities. “Most children carry water bottles to schools. Those who do not have bottles can drink water from the institute’s facilities.”
The DEO further said that the Collector is mooting to provide the children with water bottles that are not made of single-use plastic, under the “Mo School” initiative. “However, that may take some time,” he added.
Panda further explained that despite repeated reminders to the teachers, it was found that students, especially girls, were not drinking adequate quantity of water to avoid frequent visits to the toilets.
Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation and an overly acidic stomach. Keeping oneself hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, state medical experts.