CHENNAI: At a time when the Modi government has launched its massive Swatch Bharat clean-up drive ahead of Gandhi Jayanti, a latest survey found that over 5,700 government schools in Tamil Nadu do not have toilets.
While 4,278 schools in the State did not have boys’ toilets, 1,442 did not have girl’s toilets, according to the 2013-14 District Information System for Education (DISE) survey carried out by the Government of India. Besides, 958 schools having dysfunctional girl’s toilets and 1,159 dysfunctional boys toilets.
The data shows neighbouring states of Karnataka and Kerala in a much better light. Karnataka has only 12 schools without girl’s and 24 without boys’ toilets. This is in spite of the fact that Karnataka has over 9,500 more schools than TN. Kerala has 82 schools without girl’s toilets and 137 without boys’. AP meanwhile comes much worse of than all the three other Southern states with over 28,000 schools without girl’s or boys’ toilets.
Among the districts in Tamil Nadu, Villupuram came off as the worst performing in the survey. The district had 390 schools without boys’ toilets and 161 without girl’s toilets. The number of dysfunctional toilets in Villupuram was the highest in State.
Other districts with the maximum number of schools without girl’s toilets are Dindigul and Madurai. Meanwhile, under the boys category, Salem and Coimbatore are behind Villupuram with 299 and 270 schools without loos, respectively.
Chennai fared the best being the only district with all schools having girl’s and boys’ toilets. Only one school in Chennai had a dysfunctional loo.
Officials involved with the survey said that the data was skewed since several schools in Tamil Nadu have common toilet structures for girls and boys. “Till recently for most of the primary schools the government of India funded for common toilet structures with separate urinals for girls and boys. While the structure stands together the toilets are clearly separated for girls and boys. But during the survey some of the schools tagged these toilets as girls or boys toilets and hence it looked like some schools did not have toilets. In Tamil Nadu, all State schools have toilets,” said Pooja Kulkarni, Director of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which carried out the survey.