Make Reproductive Health, Mental Health and Hygiene Education Classes Mandatory in Schools

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Shcool should become the basis of not just rote learning but also of information that is vital for the overall healthy development of the child and in turn, the environment. 

In hospitals, I have been surprised to see how many people have no idea of hygienic practices - both of personal hygiene and public sanitation. This leads to increased number of infectious disease epidemics. These also affect children at a disproportionately high level Teaching basic hygiene practices - washing hands, boiling water, how to keep wells clean, what kinds of vaccines to get and why, what to do in epidemics, how to manage infected materials of a household member suffering from a disease to prevent further spread -  as a part of an integrated course can help reduce diseases in the community.

Mental health is another growing crisis. The reports actually show that mental health issues are more prevalent in rural areas and people are less likely to receive professional help because of the stigma associated with it. Integrating this into the Health course would help the people to remove the stigma from mental health and seek the much-needed treatment. Moreover, a lot of children themselves have various issues such as bullying, unwanted sexual advances, peer pressure to smoke, drink or take drugs, parents forcing them to drop out from school to work, domestic abuse etc that can be dealt with. The teachers are often confidants of the students. If the teachers of this course can also serve as connection points for the children to the help they need, this could produce massive changes in the society.

I believe there is a dire need to raise awareness regarding contraceptive practices in this country. Even though a sex-ed class may be up for debate, I do not feel that informing teenagers of the dangers of teenage pregnancy and equipping them with the knowledge of who to approach and what to do in case such a thing happens is a bad idea. I believe it is necessary for women empowerment the girls be equipped with this knowledge to protect their own future because incidents such as rape and even casual intercourse have greater problems for women than they do for men. Girls get shunned by society and are devoid of all care sometimes while boys just go on like nothing happened. I do believe this information should be provided to them.

If you believe such a course is beneficial and should form a part of our schools, please sign the petition and help us move towards a better, healthier India.