HYDERABAD: Repugnant toilets, aborted drinking water supply and very questionable surroundings - these are the things that welcome the student community of the Government Zilla Parishad school catering to 900 students in the slums of Rasoolpura everyday.
And to make matters worse, the land in front of the school, which was used as a play ground by the students, is now being converted into a function hall with the support from the local politicians and the Secunderabad Cantonment Board, according to activists.
“All functions related to the school used to be held in the play ground. We had a number of plantations in the play area and now they are all destroyed,” alleged Amjad Khan, convener of Basti Vikas Manch, a voluntary group formed to fight the cause.
What angered the volunteers most was the fact that a fully functional water pipeline was dismantled for the construction of the function hall in front of the school. “The pipeline that was giving a partial relief to the students to quench their thirst is now destroyed. With summer round the corner, it is going to be tough for them to attend school,” said Alia Khan, advisor, Basti Vikas Manch.
The school, being the only one in the slums to provide high school education to the students, especially girls, are forced to go to their houses in the school hours to relieve themselves.
“Though we have toilets in our school, it is nearly impossible for us to use them because of the lack of water and pungent smell. Since we live nearby, I go to my home in the hour of need,” says Saraswathi, a high school student.
The principal of the school TV Praveen admitted that the children were facing lot of inconvenience and said he has submitted a letter to the chief executive officer of the Secunderabad Control Board. “We did write to her last week about the bad toilets, drainages and water pipelines but we are yet to get a response,” he said.
The deteriorating conditions of the school have forced the volunteers and social activists in the neighbourhood to complain to the SCB but in vain. “We have tried to contact the chief executive officer a number of times to submit our representations but she was not available to meet us,” said Dr. Jasveen Jairath, convener of ‘Save our Urban Lakes’. The members of the Basti Vikas Manch have also written to the principal director of Defence Estate Pune, complaining about the Secunderabad Cantonment Board’s approach in dealing with the issue.