In our first visit to the children’s home, our team was taken aback at the sight of the living condition for the children and to make it worse, the children did not have proper sanitary facilities and had to use the wilderness near the riverside during early mornings.
In India, 60% of the rural population still uses the outdoors to relieve themselves in the absence of toilets. This is a problem for women and girls who usually go out in the dark night, leading to safety issues. This movement to build toilets incidentally was echoed even by India’s national leaders ”Build toilets first, temples later” – Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
kids.R.ok took the challenge and appealed to our supporters to help us raise funds to start construction of sanitary facilities, and people did respond positively to our campaign.
In 2014 summer, kids.R.ok started planning for constructing toilet and bathroom for the children’s home in Orissa. We were given an estimate for the toilet construction based on the survey by a Government Civil Engineer. The Engineer visited the site where the current children’s home is located and did an extensive survey. Based on his findings, he sent us an attested report which stipulates the cost of each material needed and the cost for construction. The findings of the report were then cross verified by a Senior Civil Engineer in Chennai by our kids.R.ok Indian team. The Civil Engineer gave us the confirmation that all the estimates were right and that we could proceed on beginning our construction work.
Kids.R.ok consulted with an independent architect who has considerable experience in building toilets in rural India, to give us a concept layout of how we could build the new children’s home toilet and bathroom. After much iteration, we were able to get the right design to have optimal construction strength and be cost efficient. The planning process took us three to four months as we felt it was important for us to do our first construction project right. In addition, we had to raise funds to achieve our construction cost target. We also included a separate toilet to be disabled friendly, so in future, if we have any handicapped child, he or she would be able to use the toilet without any difficulty.
We began the construction during winter, as it was difficult to find labourers to come to this village to work, as the day labourers usually go to towns and cities as they earn higher day wages. The construction work for the toilet will include building a septic tank along with an overhead tank to store water.
As of date, the construction is 75% complete and we hope to finish the full project by April end.
More to follow…