BHAWANIPATNA: At a time when the State Government is tom-toming its achievements in making districts open defecation free, over 500 girl students of a government residential school in Kalahandi district are forced to bathe and relieve themselves in the open due to lack of toilets in hostel.
Every morning and evening, accompanied by women attendants, the minor girls walk to the nearby Indravati river bank to answer the nature’s call and take bath.
The proposition is dangerous but they have no other choice as the Government residential Girls High school run by ST/SC Welfare Department at Gopalpur village in Thuamul Rampur block doesn’t have adequate toilets and bathrooms nor has water supply to those available.
The school has a total strength of 588 students and 544 of them stay in the hostel. There are only 10 toilets and a common bathroom and even those do not have a water supply. School authorities said the villages face power cut every day for a period of 15 to 18 hours which hampers water supply. Although the school has a solar power system, it is not able to yield adequate power to lift water from well. In the absence of water, the toilets are not cleaned creating an unhygienic atmosphere for the girls.
The headmaster of the school, Amarendranath Sahu a local NGO was entrusted with construction of 40 toilets in the school but only 10 have come up so far. He said there is no water to even flush the toilets as a result of which, girls are forced to go to the river. District Welfare Officer, Budhadev Panda said the NGO has been asked to complete construction of the toilets. Similarly, the WESCO and ST/SC Welfare Department have been asked to make an alternative arrangement for power supply.