No Toilets in Indian Government Schools - Failures of Swachh Bharat - Seeker's Thoughts

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No Toilets in Indian Government Schools - Failures of Swachh Bharat


India became the fourth country globally in 2013 (after Russia, the U.S.A, and the European Union) and the only emerging nation to launch a Mars probe into space. However, it remains part of 45 developing countries with less than 50% sanitation coverage.

                                                              PC - Indian express

 India is still lagging in providing its citizens with proper working toilets. Thousands of government schools don't have appropriate working toilets. On 23th 2020, September CAG released an audit report showing a real condition of Indian government schools where children cannot get proper hygienic toilets.
According to the new report released by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, over half of the Indian government school toilets, which have been built by central public sector enterprises, are non-existent and do not have even the primary handwashing facility.

The survey has taken over 2,000 schools.

Public sector enterprises claimed they had built 1.4 lakh toilets in government school as a part of a right to education project. However, almost 40 of those surveyed found useless, partially constructed, or unused.

An audit report was presented in parliament on 23rd . CAG said over 70% of toilets did not have running water facilities, while 75% were not maintained hygienically.

It clearly shows how the Indian government has failed to provide necessary facilities like a hygienic toilet to the children.

Ministry of human resources development launched a national campaign driving 'Clean India: clean school (Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign) in September 2014. This campaign aimed to ensure that every school in India has a functioning and well-maintained water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools refer to a combination of technical and human development components necessary to keep a healthy school environment and develop or support appropriate health and hygiene behaviors.

The technical components include drinking water, hand washing, toilet and soap facilities in the school compound for children and teachers. The human development components are the activities that promote conditions within the school and the practices of children that help to prevent water, hygiene, and sanitation-related diseases.

What are the findings of the report?

In India, there are 10.8 lakh government schools. And more than 1.4 lakh toilets were built by central public enterprises (CPSEs), significantly supported by power, coal, and oil companies. The CAG audit conducted a manual survey of a sample of 2,695 toilets built by these companies in 15 states.

According to the audit report, CPSEs identified but did not build 83. Another 200 toilets were reported to be constructed but were non existent, while 86 toilets were partially built. Another 691 toilets "were found not in use mainly due to lack of running water and cleaning arrangements, toilets which were damaged are being used for other purposes. Thus almost 40% of toilets were non-existent, partially completed, or unused.

In the survey, About 1,967 co-educational schools, 99 schools had no functional toilets while 436 had only one functional bathroom. It means providing separate toilets for and girls was not fulfilled in 27% of the schools.

Toilets that have been constructed, 72% of them had no running water facilities inside, while 55% had no handwashing facilities. The report noticed "case of defective construction of toilets, non-provision of foundation/ramp/staircase and damaged/overflowed leach pit, which led to ineffective use of toilets.

In maintenance and sanitation, 75% of toilets did not follow the norm for daily cleaning at least once a day.

According to the survey, 715 toilets were not cleaned at all, while 1,097 were cleaned twice a week to once a month. Cases if the non-provision of soap, bucket, cleaning agents, and disinfectants in toilets and the pathway's inadequate cleanliness were also noticed.

CAG recommendations

The CAG recommended the concerned ministries to look into non-existing and incomplete toilets that were claimed as constructed. It also asked the Navratanas and the ministries to address the absence of basic amenities in the toilers like running water, hand wash, facility urinals, drainage of wastewater, etc.

The audit survey covered only 2% of toilets. The CPSEs are advised to review the remaining 98% of toilets and take appropriate action.

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