BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) has sought a report from the State Government by July 15 on the status of construction of toilets in schools after it failed to meet the deadline.
In a letter to Secretary, School and Mass Education Department Ranjana Chopra, Chairperson of OSCPCR Rajendra Meher said inspite of all the mechanism, Government has failed to meet the target within the stipulated period. The deadline for construction of toilets in Odisha has been extended by 15 days after the State Government failed to achieve the target by June 30.
The reaction of OSCPCR came a day after a report, ‘Govt misses school toilet date, sets July 15 deadline’, was published in this paper on July 3.
“The Commission would like to get an update on status of construction and functioning of toilets in schools of different districts with copies of all directives issued,” Meher said. The Commission also sought to know the strategy adopted to reach the target by the deadline, he said.
The State Government had announced several measures with financial provisions with sanitation and hygiene on school premises as the basic requirements for quality education and retention of children in schools.
Construction of toilets had been launched under the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya scheme. Sources said while work has been completed in more than 50 per cent schools, work is yet to start in more than 1000 schools.
While construction of toilets has progressed in coastal districts, it is far behind the schedule in tribal dominated and Western Odisha districts. Of the 58,412 schools, as many as 8,196 do not have toilets for girl students while another 12,520 schools have dysfunctional ones which cannot be used. This means, 20,716 Government schools do not have fully functional toilets for girls.
The problem is not limited to girls alone. In as many as 13,452 Government schools, boys toilets are not available while in another 9,040 schools, such toilets are not in a proper condition. Construction of toilets in schools has also not been completed even in the districts of Puri, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur and Nayagarh.