Ringing the water bell to keep children afloat

Children of Government Higher Primary School at Narayanapur in Gadag district drink water during a water break. The water bell in the school rings thrice a day.

Taking a cue from Kerala schools, the Government Higher Primary School at Narayanapur near Naregal in Gadag district has implemented the water bell concept in a bid to keep the children hydrated and healthy. The school holds the distinction of being the first govt school in Karnataka to put into practice the water bell concept.

The special bell will ring thrice a day - at 11 am, 2.30 pm and 4 pm - to encourage the kids to drink water and stay hydrated. During summer, the water bell will ring four times a day, headmistress Mamatha T told DH.

After the water bell concept in several Kerala school made headlines, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar evinced interest in the concept and tweeted that the state is mulling over introducing the concept in state-run schools. But, Narayanpura govt school has already implemented the water bell, the headmistress said.

Water bell is based on the UN guidelines that every child should have access to safe drinking water. The concept encourages children to drink water at regular breaks to stay hydrated and healthy. Realising the fact that safe drinking water is a precious commodity in the parched districts of north Karnataka, former director of Mines and Geology S S Hiremath, also an alumnus of the school, made arrangement for water and provided bottles to the children.

Most of the students enrolled in the Narayanpur school are children of farmers and daily wagers. Kids spend most of their time at school and the water bell initiative would go a long way in making these children from the lower strata of the society fit and healthy citizens. ‘‘We got to know about Kerala schools and a private school in Dakshina Kannada, implementing the water bell concept. We thought of introducing the same to our government school. Accordingly, we prepared a plan and implemented the same,’’ said school staff.

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