Monday, October 3, 2016

Safe Water Learning with Arghyam

27th Sep 2016


What is the source of Fluoride in groundwater?
What is Dental Fluorosis? Why does it happen to Children only?
How to check if a person has Skeletal Fluorosis or not?
What are the ways to test for Fluoride in water?
How is Nutrition linked with Fluorosis?
What are ways to remove Fluoride from water?

Is Fluorosis reversal possible?
How can we prevent the adverse effects of Fluorosis?
How can eating Til Chikki, Moringa, Amla, Tamarind help in reducing the effects of Fluorosis?
What are the strategies to begin to work towards mitigation of Fluorosis?

And many more..

These were some of many questions that were answered by the safe water learning cards session.
Both me and my colleague Shreyas, were invited to conduct a session for the members of the Arghyam group in Bangalore on the 27th September 2016. Arghyam supports many projects and initiates action research projects across the country that concerns groundwater and sanitation.  One such project is the Fluoride Knowledge and Action Network. 

So what are these Safe Water Learning Cards?

  •    They are set of around 70 cards are designed to help learning on Safe water issues, with particular reference to Fluoride issue in this case.
  •       There are four sets of cards – Basics, Debates, Strategies and Solutions
  •       Each card is color tagged with the particular set.
  •       There is basic content in each card to stimulate thinking and discussion.
  •       They are meant to supplement existing modes of learning.

There were 15 members who had participated in the session. We had made arrangements such that each team had two members seated in a circular manner. The group had members who knew nothing, some had little awareness, some who have worked on Fluorosis. Given the lack of time, we selected combination of 30 cards with Basics, Solutions, Strategies, and Debates around issue of Fluorosis.

Learning card belonging to a specific topic were distributed to each team were given 4-5 minutes to read and passed onto the next team.  The participants were advised to make note of things they didn’t understand, important points which are interesting or topics they would like to learn more. Once the set was completed, the floor was open to discussion.  

Both me and Shreyas initiated and facilitated the discussion. Many questions we had asked were answered by the teams. Some questions were answered by the other teams and this is how the  cross learning and discussion took place.  We gave relevant examples to explain some doubts based on our recent field visits to Chikballapur and Raichur.

The same strategy for discussion was followed for the other sets. The group held that the Flash cards learning was a good experience and much simpler method to connect to the topic and have discussion. Many of them who knew nothing were aware of Fluorosis, its types, the permissible limits, the technologies for Fluoride removal, strategies and solutions to mitigate Fluorosis.

Kiran Kumar Sen

Biome Environmental Trust and
 Fluoride Knowledge and Action Network

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