Leading extreme outerwear maker Woodland recently marked its fourth year of support to UNICEF’s WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in schools programme. Woodland’s marketing manager Harkirat Singh along with UNICEF Uttar Pradesh team members recently visited rural primary schools in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh to see the ongoing WASH projects in the district.
In the last four years, Woodland has inspired its employees and customers to raise Rs 1.5 crore million for the UNICEF WASH programme, helping to improve over one lakh children’s access to basic hygiene, sanitation and water facilities in remote communities and more than 500 schools across the country.
“Woodland shares UNICEF’s deep commitment to improving the lives and well-being of children and young people around the world,” said Mr. Harkirat Singh. “We are united by a conviction that access to clean drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental building block for the development of children and their societies. We are proud that with the support from our customers and employees, the Woodland and UNICEF partnership has positively affected the lives of children.”
In 2006, the panchayati raj ministry listed Mirzapur as one of the country’s 250 most- backward districts. Mirzapur, in addition to falling under the low human development index, faces one of the highest open defecation rates (79.6 per cent population defecate in the open). The district has thus been chosen as one of the priority districts for implementing WASH programmes. The Woodland team interacted with Panchayat members and ‘child cabinets’ at the Upper Primary School, Vidapur, Seekhad Block, Mirzapur. The team was shown the upgraded sanitation facilities and handwashing units set up in the school.
“The UNICEF and Woodland partnership supports our goal of institutionalising hand washing systems, and supporting safe, sustainable water supplies in schools. When you integrate critical behaviors such as hand washing and use of toilets, in the daily routine of children in schools, you can bring amazing results for children. Evidence shows that access to functional and separate toilets for girls and boys can sharply impact enrolment and retention of children in schools, especially girls,” said Niloufar Pourzand, chief of field office, UNICEF Uttar Pradesh, during her visit.
The partnership that began in 2011 with a Customer Fundraising Program in all Woodland stores is now supporting critical UNICEF WASH programmes across the country. (SH)
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India