Mumbai school students to be BMC's anti-dengue spies

Civic body ropes in schools to inform them about breeding spots in their area; includes private schools as well

In its latest campaign to create awareness against diseases such as leptospirosis, malaria and dengue, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has roped in teachers, who now have to inform the civic body about breeding spots identified by their students.

Students at Sundatta Vidhyalaya during the BMC campaign on Saturday
Students at Sundatta Vidhyalaya during the BMC campaign on Saturday

The campaign was launched at Sundatta Vidhyalaya in Grant road on Saturday, from 9.30 am to 11.30 pm, attended by 150 students from Class 1 to 10 and 40 parents. The campaign, which will target private schools and colleges as well, aims at educating students about the dangers of such diseases. They will be taught to keep an eye out for mosquito breeding spots, initial symptoms of diseases such as dengue, malaria and leptospirosis and the value of consulting a doctor immediately.

An officer from the BMC’s pesticide control department, said dengue mosquitoes breed mostly in household spots such as AC trays, gardening plates and plastic drums.

Teachers welcome move
“We are ready to help the BMC. Once we identify breeding spots, it will be easier for them to carry out their work,” said Arvind Kadam, a teacher from Adarsh Vidhyalaya in Goregaon.

Vinaya Kurtadkar, one of the teachers at the school, said, “We have asked the children to update us if they chance upon possible breeding grounds in their vicinity. The information will be passed on to the principals who will then inform the BMC officials. Children will learn from this and be a part of the change,” said Kurtadkar, from Sundatta Vidhyalaya.

Official Speak
Ganesh Dudwalkar, Junior Overseer at the pest control department of D Ward who had organised the programme, said, “We organised a similar awareness campaign in 2014, but those were limited to BMC schools. This year, we have enrolled private schools as well. To keep the campaign entertaining and informative, we educate children through short films, pictures and miniature models of possible breeding spots.”

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