Ritu developers now members of Netrokona Union Parishad standing committee

Even though there is one toilet per 187 students in Bangladeshi universities, they are not fit to be used due to many reasons. On top, there aren’t any separate toilets for girls in most of these institutions. Due to this condition, many female students face health risks and don’t feel like coming to university during their period, which in turn hamper their academic performances. These issues have long-term consequences. According to a survey, female students often stop their education due to not having period-friendly toilets, and this in turn pushes girls towards early marriage.

Despite the circular issued by the government education board to improve toilet facilities, its practical applications still seem to lack. Even when the universities wish to provide period-friendly toilets for girls, they can not due to insufficient funding. To help fight these issues, DORP is currently working with Ritu in Netrokona District with the primary aim to provide clean water and sanitation facilities to ensure hygienic and period-friendly toilets for girls. To achieve these aims, mobilizers of DORP school and community is working in different levels, such as helping universities in need to acquire funds to build period-friendly toilets. The Union Parishad came to be a big financing source. Through the ‘Education, Health and Family Planning Standing Comittee’, the Union Parishad helps universities to formulate budgets and proposals to acquire these funds. If this Standing Committee is strengthened, the Union Parishad can figure out a budget from their various sectors of funds and make sure the universities have their toilet facilities improved. Keeping that mindset, DORP school and community mobilizers were given posts in the ‘Education, Health and Family Planning Standing Committee’ of 6 districts and 16 Union Parishads, so that the committee becomes more active and play a variety of effective roles in the community.

Mobilizers who gained member status in the Union Parishad are from: Nazirpur and Pogla Unions from Kalmakanda Upazila, Somaj Sahildeyo, Sowayir and Tetulia Unions from Mohongonj Upazila, Shwarmushiya Union from Atpara Upazila, Rouho, Modonpur, Amtola, Chollisha and Thakurakona Unions from Netrokona Sadar Upazila, Dholamulgaon, Hogla and Boirati Unions from Purbadhola Upazila, and Khaliyajuri and Gazipur Unions from Khaliyajuri Upazila.

Since these mobilizers of DORP school and community gained membership in the Union Parishad committees, the community has seen improvements and the movement was praised by many. The mobilizers will also be interested in taking memberships in other unions, in spite of their existing opportunities.

Source:  Bangladesh National Foundation Survey, 2014

and DORP Representatives at Netrokona

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