Kolkata, India

Published on in Impact
Published on in Impact
Project #25 in Kolkata, India

Kolkata, India


MiiR's Contribution


Lives Empowered


Funding Date

Splash water project in Kolkata, India

MiiR is proud to partner with Splash, a Seattle-based nonprofit that ensures clean water, clean hands and clean toilets for kids in Asia and Africa. Together, Splash and MiiR are partnering to implement clean water, hygiene education and sanitation improvements in 10 schools in Kolkata, India, immediately benefitting some 1,965 children and thousands more in future years, with the aim that it can be replicated across India’s major cities and beyond.

This work builds on MiiR’s existing support for Splash in Nepal and expands our philanthropic footprint to India, creating a deep impact on children in both countries. Additionally, our support in India will serve some of the neediest and most vulnerable children in Kolkata through residential schools. The residential school system was started by the local government in 2012 to serve urban, homeless youth. Often these children are from single-parent households or are orphaned. Many have also suffered abuse. Most of these children have never enrolled in school or have dropped out of the mainstream education system.

The Approach

The future of water is in cities. While many people think the global water crisis primarily affects rural areas, today more than half the world population lives in cities and 828 million people live in urban slums. Rapidly growing cities in developing countries face insufficient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, which is felt most acutely by the poor. Splash provides a spark of hope, focusing on children, who are both the most vulnerable to water-borne disease and the key to generational change. Splash targets schools, orphanages, hospitals and shelters to reach the greatest number of kids in a cost-effective way.


The Problem

Nowhere in the world is there more explosive urban growth than in India. In fact, the country is on track to add 530 million people to its cities between 2010 and 2050—the equivalent of adding every resident of the US and Russia to India's urban centers! By 2030, India is predicted to have the largest population in the world, and Kolkata – the capital of West Bengal – is India’s third largest city. Kolkata is seeing explosive population growth with a growing proportion of urban slum residents. Water is widely available but is typically contaminated. Unsanitary conditions, crowding and inadequate health and education facilities exacerbate the effects of poverty.


The Goal

By proving the ability to scale in a “hardest to reach” place, Splash believes that it will make national replication a plausible reality. Working in India since 2012, Splash currently serves nearly 5% of the public-school children in Kolkata across 90 of the 2,000 school sites, reaching 40,000 kids. With MiiR’s help, Splash is on track to reach 100% of Kolkata schools by 2021, benefitting 420,000 of the city’s poorest kids. In 2017, Splash plans to serve a combination of small, medium and large schools, with the aim that the model can be replicated across India’s major cities and beyond.

Granting schedule:
$45,000 benefitting 1,965 people (April/June/December 2017)
$20,000 benefitting 1,262 people (March 2018)


About Splash

Splash aims to improve the health and development of children in dense, urban areas by ensuring they have clean water, clean hands and clean toilets. Founded in 2007, Splash has completed 1,600 projects serving more than 400,000 kids in eight countries: China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Over the next five years in Kolkata, India, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kathmandu, Nepal, Splash aims to reach 100% of public schools with full WASH coverage to ensure that over one million children have clean water, clean hands and clean toilets by 2021.

Splash's work with MiiR in Kolkata, IndiaPhoto credit: Gavin Gough

Meet Subhadra

A tenth grader attending Behala Balika Vidyapath, Subhadra enjoys playing Kabaddi. Singing is also very close to her heart and she sings at school functions whenever she gets a chance. While her favorite subject is history, ultimately Subhadra aims to be a police officer to curb violence against women.

Read Subhadra's story here.

September 2018

Splash and MiiR are continuing the expansion of WASH interventions in Kolkata schools:

  • With the help of their dedicated partners, Splash completed the teacher training for the Secondary and Higher Secondary School Focal Teachers in Mid-June, after summer vacation.
  • From June to August the full water, sanitation, and hygiene intervention was completed, providing approximately 1,271 kids at eight different schools with significant health benefits that will last them a lifetime.


School Profile (via Splash):


"Paik Para Raja Manindra Memorial Primary and Higher Secondary Schools are located in North Kolkata beside Barrackpore Trunk Road. When conducting the school assessment, we found the condition of the toilets to be very poor. There were a number of leaks in the plumbing, and some of the taps were also found to be broken. The existing filter at the school was also not working. Hence, schoolchildren did not have access to filtered drinking water. Thankfully, no bacteria were found in the water sample collected from the school for testing. The reason for this may be the proximity of the school to Tala Water Pumping station where water is treated and distributed to large part of the city.


Now, because of [the support of MiiR and its customers], the schools have a functional ultra-filtration system that removes 99.999% of the bacteria from their water. They also have two drinking water stations with six taps and one handwashing station with two taps that help keep the kids healthy. Twenty trained focal teachers have also spread hygiene messaging across their schools, including 53 active student hygiene club members that help keep their schools clean and encourage their peers to practice healthy behaviors. One-hundred and twenty-five bars of soap were also collected at the schools, as part of event days."

June 2018

In 2018 MiiR and Splash expanded our partnership in Kolkata, India to dramatically improve the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions in one of Splash’s highest need areas. MiiR’s 2018 funding supports Splash’s WASH intervention at seven schools, located at three campuses, benefiting approximately 1,262 children (828 boys, 29 of which are children with special needs and 434 girls, 16 of which have special needs).


Since starting the 2018 partnership in March, Splash has kicked off their initiative with the Kolkata Department of Education to train all 2,000 public-school teachers in 2018, using their innovative hygiene education curriculum. In mid-May, Focal Teachers at the four primary schools that MiiR is supporting through this partnership received initial training. Splash will complete the teacher training for the Secondary School Focal Teachers in mid-June, after summer vacation. In addition, water filter systems have been ordered for all of the schools and interventions have been planned.


Splash’s Intervention


Splash will conduct an assessment of each school to understand factors like water quality, physical size of the school, number of students, existing WASH infrastructure and sanitation conditions. We will then design a customized WASH intervention, leveraging appropriate technology, durable products, local supply chains, and innovative solutions.


  • Water - We will ensure clean water for drinking at all the schools through the installation of industrial Aquasphere and Lifestraw water filtration systems. Our water filtration system uses a three-stage process of mechanical filtration (ultra-filtration or UF), chemical filtration (carbon filters) and disinfection (ultraviolet or UV), which removes more than 99.9999% of microbial pathogens to ensure water that’s safe for drinking according to World Health Organization standards.                                                                                                                                                     
  • Hygiene - Filtration alone can’t stave off water-borne illness. Behavior change is critical. Splash’s hygiene education program promotes both bottom- up and top-down behavior change activities to achieve outcomes that are sustained throughout the child’s lifetime and passed on to future generations they’ll one day lead. These include using training focal teachers and staff on hygiene education, the formation of hygiene clubs to encourage peer-to-peer learning, and school-wide event days.
  • Sanitation - Splash will also renovate the sanitation facilities at each school site, making them child-friendly and accessible for children with disabilities. Splash believes that every public school in Kolkata should have child-friendly toilet facilities with sufficient access to water for flushing and that meet global standards for safety, privacy, cleanliness, ventilation, and accessibility. The Splash sanitation intervention applies best practices in menstrual hygiene management (MHM) to dissuade absenteeism during menstruation and boost girls’ confidence and security at school.


School names: Paik Para Raja Manindra Memorial Primary, Higher Secondary, and Memorial High School, Shastriji Harijan Vidya Mandir Secondary, Netaji Vidyapith Bengali and Hindi Primary, Cossipore Sri Sanatan Dharma Vidyalaya Primary and Secondary School.


March 2018

In partnership with Splash, MiiR Project #25 has considerably changed the conditions at ten schools in Kolkata. Water that was previously contaminated with arsenic, E. coli and other coliform bacteria is now clean thanks to the ten Voltas and Aquasphere commercial-grade filtration systems installed. Kids can now can easily access water that meets strict World Health Organization standards from 22 new Splash drinking water stations, as well as handwashing stations to guard them from germs.

Sanitation improvements have also made a huge difference in school conditions. Splash’s intervention improved old, non-functional facilities by making needed updates and improvements to the doors, latches, ventilation systems and overall surroundings of the sanitation facilities, making them more child-friendly and inviting. In conjunction with these efforts, hygiene education and soap drives were conducted at the schools so that kids were ensured availability of soap at the handwashing stations after using the bathroom and before meals.

Splash conducted two full days of training at each school for 295 hygiene club students and 89 teachers, who went on to influence fellow students and teach kids valuable hygiene skills. In addition, Splash conducted several event days at each school, such as soap drives, to ensure availability, which were attended by 816 kids and adults. The change has been transformative at all ten schools and will greatly benefit the health and livelihood of hundreds of thousands of students for years to come!


November 2017

Water filtration systems, as well as drinking and handwashing station installation work is complete at all ten schools. Detailed sanitation assessments are underway in preparation for sanitation work. Hygiene education at many of the schools has also been conducted.

School profile - SB Girls High School

SB Girls High School is located in a posh area of South Kolkata. It is a residential higher secondary school with 155 students enrolled, of which 80 reside there. Most of the girls come from poor economic backgrounds. Their parents mainly work as domestic workers, masons and rickshaw pullers. Before Splash’s intervention, the school had a small drinking water purifier that functioned irregularly and was not large enough to cater to the number of students in the school.

Splash has installed a water filter as well as two drinking water stations with four taps and two bubblers at the school. In addition, a post-installation water test determined that the filter is functioning without any issues, ensuring clean water and hands for 155 students (ten of whom are children with special needs), as well as ten staff.

After hygiene training, the students were motivated to conduct a tree plantation drive to plant trees beside the school playground to beautify the school campus. Because of its success, the school has received the 2017 Nirmal Vidyalaya Puraskar, a government award that recognizes schools for excellence in sanitation and hygiene practice.