BHUBANESWAR: With the Centre emphasising on sanitation in schools and proper toilets for girl students, the State Government has asked all the district welfare officers (DWOs) to draw lists of schools where urgent repair of toilets is required.
With the State Government spending huge funds for maintenance of school buildings run by Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development Department, condition of toilets in the schools has come under focus.
In a letter to all DWOs, the ST and SC Development Department has referred to reports about dilapidated buildings, lack of toilets and drinking water supply in schools run by the Department. “This is the state of affairs despite the department spending crores of rupees towards repair and maintenance of schools, hostel buildings, toilets, electrification and water supply,” the letter stated.
The letter maintained that it may be misutilisation of funds or the district administration has not paid heed to the situation due to some other reason. “The State Government wants to improve the condition of toilets and hostels run by the Department,” it said and directed the DWOs to submit a list of such dilapidated schools as early as possible.
The Government had made a provision of `90 crore in the 2014-15 budget for infrastructure development of educational institutions.
Besides, `55 crore was provided for maintenance and repair of school and hostel buildings in the budget.
Situation is no better in schools run by the School and Mass Education Department. As many as 20,716 Government schools in the State do not have proper toilets for girls.
According to the status of school toilets posted by Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, 20,716 (35.46 per cent) of 58,412 Government schools in the State do not have functional toilets for girls.