Kids and Songs for Safe Water and Good Hygiene in Tamil Nadu

india, music, ngo, outreach

About 6,000 children die EACH DAY from water- and sanitation-related illnesses. But did you know songs can save lives? One NGO in rural Tamil Nadu is teaching songs to children about the importance of safe water and hygiene practices to help them and their families lead lead longer and healthier lives.

Around 2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. Poor water and sanitation conditions lead to illnesses such as diarrhea, parasites, and malaria. Young children have weaker immune systems unable to protect them from these sicknesses. Simple actions like washing hands with soap, using a toilet instead of defecating in the open, proper food preparation and storage, or keeping rivers, lakes and streams clean could help save 2.2 million lives each year.

Over the past two weeks, I visited Gramalaya. They work on a variety of water and sanitation projects across the state of Tamil Nadu (more to come in a later post). A highlight of the trip was hearing kids from rural villages sing songs about the importance of healthy water and sanitation practices. These songs were written by S. Damodaran, founding-director of Gramalaya, now working for organization called that focuses on funding water and sanitation programs in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Singing Songs about Water and Hygiene
Above Photo: A colleague at Arghyam listening to songs.

They had one song about low-cost toilets:

Toilet! Toilet;
Low cost Toilet!

The toilet my mother loves!
The toilet my sister likes!

Toilets for the primary school;
And toilets for the Anganwadi

Toilets for the poor;
and toilets for all!

Toilets for every house;
and toilets for healthy life!

And another about kitchen gardens:

Garden! Garden everywhere;
a garden for every house!
A garden from waste water;
garden to remove disease!

Avaraikai in April;
Next month we can get Pagarkai.
Very often we can get sundaikkai;
and for good taste you can get Suraikkkai

A garden out of waste water;
A garden for vegetables.

A garden to remove mosquitoes;
a garden to ensure cleanliness.

And another about safe drinking water:

Drinking water from rivers
Is to invite diseases many.

Water from ponds nearby
Invites killer diseases.

Drinking water from canal
Attracts diarrhea easily. But

Drinking water from handpumps
Leads to a healthy life.

And, lastly, one about a beautiful village:

A beautiful village
Dotted with houses
Surrounded by feces
Flies rest on it.

Flies with germs
Flies sit on food
When brother eat food
Diarrhea is the result.

When sister also affected
Mother started crying
And the beautiful village
Becomes a filthy village.

Because of the feces in the village
Diseases spread everywhere
Because of the feces, germs
Spread in the village.

Let us build a toilet
One for each house
When everyone uses it
Life is totally disease free.

Here is a video of one of the songs from

2 thoughts on “Kids and Songs for Safe Water and Good Hygiene in Tamil Nadu

  1. Water Water Every where but no safe to drink……..We should all work together for the future of new generation and this world….

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