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Friday, July 26, 2013

SC order on school toilets goes unheeded again

Rageshri Ganguly, TNN Jul 14, 2013, 01.04AM IST

BHOPAL: The Supreme Court order for separate toilets for girls and boys in the schools of the state has gone unheeded once again. Also, even in the schools that have toilets most have no facilities for water.

A recent survey carried out by a voluntary organization reveals, that more than 91% of the 159 schools surveyed have no water facilities and almost half of the toilets are used by girls. Moreover only 15% of the schools have clean toilets.

A study conducted by Madhya Pradesh Lok Sangharsh Sajha Manch (MPLSSM) in February shows that out of 124 primary schools and 35 schools surveyed in 10 districts, toilets existed in only 140 schools.
The districts covered in the study were - Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Dhar, Sheopur, Mandla, Dindori, Rewa, Satna and Damoh.
"The Supreme Court order of October 3, 2012, that directed all states and Union territories to ensure basic toilet facilities are provided in schools within March 31, 2013, particularly for girl students, has failed miserably. Not only do schools lack toilets, but unfortunately those that do have toilets, there is lack of water facilities and basic hygiene in them which deters girls from using them and consequently stops them from attending schools altogether," said secretary MPLSSM Javed Anis.
"Last year a circular was issued by the Rajya Shiksha Kendra (RSK) that panchayats would be responsible for maintaining cleanliness of toilets. However, the panchayats we spoke to claimed ignorance on the same and also that they do not have any additional funds regarding employing any sanitation workers," he said.
Since Right to Education (RTE) Act came into effect in 2010, there has been improvement in the infrastructure, but the constructions being done are not up to the mark and they are showing signs of wear and tear after just one monsoon season, he added.
He also informed that the report has been submitted by them to school education principal secretary Sanjay Singh and commissioner Rajya Shiksha Kendra Rashmi Arun Shami. Besides, the national commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR) and state commission for protection of child rights (SCPCR) have also sent a copy of the report.
Despite repeated efforts Rajya Shiksha Kendra commissioner Rashmi Arun Shami did not respond to calls.
After the October 3 order, chief secretaries of all states were directed to ensure separate permanent toilets for boys and girls in all schools on or before March 31, 2012. In case it was not possible to build permanent toilets, at least temporary ones were to be made on or before February 28, the apex court had said.
Parameters -                                             Percentage
Toilets without water -                            91%
Clean toilets -                                           15%
Separate toilets for girls and boys -      50%
Toilets are used -                                    49%
Toilets are unusable -                             40%
Toilets are locked -                                  9%
Toilets are there -                                   88%
Schools surveyed -                                  59

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