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The story of SCHOOL’s approach

One day we happened to be in a gathering of Smart City Initiative. We had the opportunity of sharing with the audience what SCHOOL is all about.

There was pin-drop silence.

At the end of my speech, one official got up and said, “I understood all, but the approach – ‘Cross-thematic Inputs to Impact Health’ – can you explain it once again.”

I looked around, one of my team members was more excited than me to tell it all. He got up and said, “Can I try?”, I nodded.

He began, “Health is the last mile, Ma’am talked about, but to reach there, much more needs to be done, then she wove it all around the SDGs. So, here I go.” And he soon became an able moderator.

“Tell me the SDGs # 1, 2 and 3!” he looked at me and asked.

“No Poverty; Zero Hunger; and Good Health and Well-being.” I responded.

“Well!” He exclaimed and continued, “Let us understand, when we are poor, we have less to eat, when our stomachs are empty – how do you think – we can manage to have good health?”

“Now tell me the SDGs # 4, 5 and 6.”

And I responded again “Quality education; Gender equality; and Clean water and sanitation.”

“So, we have no quality education, we have no good opportunities and no good livelihood, so we do not reach SDG # 8, ‘decent work and economic growth’, and if we do not respect and bring in equality for all, we do not reach SDG # 10.

Finally, if you have decent job, you can afford, # 9, ‘Technology – Innovation’, which includes renewable energy, waste water treatment, solid waste management and information & communication technology, all of these bring in ease and comfort to our lives.

If we can afford # 9, we can manage to get # 6, ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’; # 7, ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’; and also # 12, ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’.

He took a pause and asked the audience, “Shall we recapitulate, were you able to connect the dots?”

“We end # 1 and 2, we achieve # 4, 5 and 10, we reach # 8, if we have # 8, we can afford # 9, with # 9 we get # 6, 7 and 12. Am I right?”

“Wow!” exclaimed the audience, almost roaring with applaud.

“Now, let us understand more.”

All of us here are in this beautiful convention center, in a city, # 8 has brought us here, but we are not working for # 11, ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’, we have jeopardised # 13, 14, and 15, which is, ‘Climate, Life Below Land, and Life on Land’, we are not caring for # 9 enough, for this we need to focus on # 17, which is ‘Partnerships for the Goals’, only then can we reach # 16, which is ‘Peace’!”

He looked at me, smiled and said, “Ma’am, now I want to add the last one.” He continued.

“That is what SCHOOL is here for, for # 17, because only # 17 ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ can help:

  • End # 1 and 2 (Hunger and Poverty) and we will have healthy brains
  • Achieve # 4, 5 and 8 and we will have healthy existence
  • Afford # 9, 10, 11 and 12 and we will have healthy living conditions
  • Enable us to work on # 13, 14, 15 and we will have healthy air, water, oceans and soil
  • and Bring # 16 and we will have healthy mind

All of this will ensure us # 3, ‘Good health and well-being.’

He paused and the class gave him a standing ovation.

“This is the story of SCHOOL’s approach!” I exclaimed with an applaud.