CHENNAI: With scarcity of water in the city, distance education students of Anna University are having a tough time. The four-storey building of Centre for Distance Education at the University campus in Guindy, where distance education classes take place on Saturday and Sunday, is an example.
Most of the time the restrooms are either locked or remains devoid of water. As a result, many students avoid using them. According to students, when classes take place from 9 am to 6 pm, it becomes very difficult to not use the restrooms for so long. Pregnant women suffer the most.
However, University officials said that to overcome the situation, students are allowed to use the restroom of the opposite building, that is of the Controller of Examination. But students say that there are few restrooms, with long queues.
A student requesting anonymity said that most of the time, about 60 per cent of the class hours, the restrooms remain closed. On Saturdays, classes take place from 9 am to 6 pm and on Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm.
“In all the three floors, most of the time the restrooms for ladies and gents will remain closed. Sometimes, there will be one restroom open, on the ground floor. But sometimes, water won’t be there. Yesterday, all restrooms were closed. Many of us don’t use the restrooms the whole day,” she said, adding that on asking for water, the University said that since there is scarcity, they can’t provide much water.
Another student said that she doesn’t use the restroom at all. “My class is on the third floor. Half the time the restroom on my floor is locked. The lady who cleans would ask us to go to the second floor. But the second floor will also be locked and the cleaning lady there would ask us to go to the third floor. They remain closed on all the floors,” she said, adding that there are around five pregnant women studying distance education.
They find it very difficult. If they are on the third floor, to use a restroom on the ground floor if it is open, they have to climb down the stairs. There is no lift that they can use. “One class will be held for two hours. There will be a break for 10 minutes, within that time one has to rush and use the bathroom. For pregnant women, it is really difficult to rush and use the bathroom. Or to go to the opposite building which is the Controller of Examination building. To go there and come back in 10 minutes is not always easy,” the student said.
Further, the students said that per semester they are paying `12,000, but authorities are not able to provide water in the restrooms for just two days a week. “We are coming only on Saturdays and Sundays, for that too they can’t provide water. There are four bathrooms in the building. At least two should remain open. The ones in the Controller of Examination building stinks a lot. We have to stand in the queue to use the restrooms in that building,” said a student, requesting anonymity, adding that of all the restrooms, only the one on the ground floor will remain open. But then, there will be no water.
SN Geetha, Director of Distance Education, said the whole University is suffering a water crisis. “Since there is water scarcity, to overcome the situation we asked officials of the Controller of Examination building to allow the students to use the restroom over there. We are providing water via water lorries and there will always be four drums filled with water kept in the bathroom,” she said.