Sudhanshu Mishra   |   Mail Today  |   Jaipur, February 19, 2015 |

Students were forced to clean classrooms and staff toilets.













Students were forced to clean classrooms and staff toilets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s much-hyped Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has gone for a toss in Rajasthan, as in the absence of sweepers in government schools of Jaipur district, students belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) clean the toilets.

In response to a public interest litigation (PIL) by one Radha Shekhawat, the Rajasthan High Court had authorised NGO Bharat Bal Vigyan Samiti to survey schools in Jaipur. The report was submitted on Tuesday.

Of the 138 schools in 10 educational blocks of Jaipur – 24 have no toilet for girls while 75 per cent lack sanitation facilities.

A total 23,102 children with 56.1 per cent girls are enrolled in these 138 schools.

In another break-up, 31.77 per cent are Scheduled Castes, 15.94 per cent Muslim minority, 12.71 per cent Scheduled Tribes, 26.55 per cent Other Backward Classes and 13.04 per cent from the general category.

The survey found that safai karmachari is not appointed in most schools.

“A serious concern we would like to highlight is that teachers and the school administration force girls and children from the SC communities to clean toilets.These children face discrimination because they belong to the SC communities, thereby reinforcing the evil of untouchability and caste roles of traditional societies,” the report underlined.

It was observed that 47 schools do not have any toilets for boys (36 per cent) while 74 schools have only one toilet for boys (54 per cent)

Shockingly, 24 schools (20 per cent of total schools) have no toilets for girls while 94 schools (67 per cent of the total) have a single toilet.

Similarly, for boys, 41 (30 per cent) schools have no urinals and 43 (30 per cent) schools have no urinals for girls.

For staff, 75 per cent schools have no urinals. Moreover, 67 (48 per cent) schools have no separate toilet for them. The norms of the Water Sanitation Hygiene Programme for Schools (WASH) are one toilet each for 80 boys and 40 girls, respectively.

The findings show that 68 per cent schools fulfil the norms for boys while only 28 per cent meet the criteria for girls.

No wonder, boys answer nature’s call in open space near the school or its walls. Moreover, water in toilets is available only in 67 schools (48.55 per cent) while for urinals, it is only in 72 schools (52.15 per cent). During menstruation, girls don’t come to school where the toilets are dirty and there is no running water.

During the survey, it was found that girls were paid at least Rs.50 to clean the staff toilets in one school.

When an attempt was made to contact state Education Minister Vasudev Devnani, his staff said that he was away to Ganganagar for PM Narendra Modi’s visit on Thursday.

Ko mal Srivastava, president of the NGO told Mail Today that they have recommended construction of toilets and urinals in all schools, change in urinal design, ensuring running water and drainage besides cleanliness. The report has also suggested regular monitoring by district and block officials.