SanEduSkill (SES)- Sanitation, Education and Skill Development
Preventing School dropouts by constructing toilets and nurturing a skill development program for improving livelihood of tribals
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Mahatma Education Society
Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
India: Waravne, Taluka Pen, Raigad District, Maharashtra
India: Rasayani, Raigad District, Maharashtra
SanEduSkill - Sanitation, Education and Skill Development -
Meeting sanitation needs to increase school enrollment of tribal children followed by a skill development program to enhance employability
Survey of children who had dropped out of school
Survey of school children
Survey of dropped out children and their parents
These toilets were provided with water storage and solar power.
We constructed of 20 gender segregated toilets and bathrooms. In fact children began returning to school for their daily bath.
Feedback of Skill Development Program
Success stories and follow up of the Skill Development Program
Small business started by a retrained dropout
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
The rate of school dropouts in India is reported at an alarming 50% before completing the mandatory 8 years of education due to reasons including poverty, child labour, and lack of interest. The current project highlights significance of socially repressed issues of open defecation and menses due to lack of toilets in a tribal area. These school dropouts belonging to a rural area in India exhibit poor literacy skills leading to unemployment and overall lower quality of life.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
We initiated a pilot project in a rural area of Raigad, Maharashtra (India) to address the lack of sanitation facilities in a tribal school. The completion of a vast survey of school dropouts indicated that lack of sanitation facilities was the primary reason behind dropouts, especially for girls at the onset of their menses. Therefore, 20 gender segregated functional toilets and bathrooms were constructed as a measure to reduce school dropouts. Additionally it was found that these dropped out children had not picked up even the basic literacy skills as far as grade 8 (~ 13 years old). A batch of undergraduate students were selected to assist the dropout children to augment their literacy and numeracy skills at par with the urban students. Further, we developed a central facility for imparting vocational skills including plumbing, electrical wiring, computer hardware & beauty culture for these students leading to higher employability and entrepreneurial qualities.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
The SanEduSkill project has impacted approximately 450 families in a tribal village located in the district of Raigad (Maharashtra, India). Our initiative has reduced open defecation and provided toilets and bathrooms to 100% of the students, wherein most of their families have no sanitation facilities in their homes. This has reduced the number of instances of illnesses for girls. The skill development program was initiated with a 30% reservation for women. During the skill development, the first two months included training on communication in English language. The previous two batches (2015 & 16) passed out with an average class enrolment of 100 students per year. These tribal students who have graduated with a certificate course are now employed locally or have started an independent business. Our initiative was recently recognized and approved by the government of India.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
The SanEduSkill (SES) project is financed by the surplus generated by the Mahatma International School (New Panvel). The financial contribution for 2014 to 2017 was 72%, 77%, 96% and 79% respectively of the surplus generated at our international school facility. Additionally, the government of India has contributed 2% to our program in the current year. This project is implemented as a continuous effort for construction of toilets and provision of free skill development program for tribal children in a rural area of Raigad district, Maharashtra. A central facility providing free skill development courses is already created, but we need additional resources for building more toilets and reaching out to other tribal schools in the vicinity.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Previous projects have encouraged student enrollment by offering free food and clothing. However, none have investigated the reasons behind dropouts, especially girls. On reaching out to students and their parents, we successfully addressed the socially repressed issues of menses and open defecation. We have brought education as a second chance via free skill development for dropouts to alleviate poverty and assist the future generations come out of this vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
India has the highest number of people living below poverty line (World Bank). After researching we found illiteracy as a major cause, which motivated us to survey the local urban and rural areas where lack of toilet facilities was witnessed as a significant reason for dropping out of school. Especially, a lower literacy for women revealed dropouts at the onset of menses, often a traditionally repressed family issue in India. We could hardly comprehend that menses could lead to illiteracy. This encouraged us to initiate construction of gender segregated toilets for tribal students. Our "Ahaa" moment struck when we started seeing girls returning to school after having access to sanitation. Further, these children who completed school were provided with free skill development courses leading to employability and improvement in the overall quality of life for a rural population in India.
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