Over a thousand such toilets prevail: survey
The temple-toilet comment that led Union Minister Jairam Ramesh into political rough weather, finds a strange corroboration in the Zilla Parishad High School (ZPHS), MP Patelguda village of Ranga Reddy district.
The school, with a strength of 190, has four temples in its premises, the fourth one still under construction, but not a single functioning toilet despite the high number of girl students. Toilets constructed a decade ago were abandoned short of soak pits by the contractor.
To worsen matters, the toilets are not connected to the village’s main source of water supply. “We have repeatedly appealed to all local politicians on every possible occasion, to have the toilets renovated. They could collect Rs.10 lakh for construction of a temple in the village, but paid no heed to our plea,” rues headmaster K. Raghu.
Staying thirsty, rationing water, using open areas or in the worst case, bladder control, are the ways adopted by the girls and teachers too.
It is worse at the ZPHS, Sheriguda, Ibrahimpatnam mandal. All the toilets are kept under lock and key so that they are available to teachers alone. Ironically, despite the village overhead tank being just a few yards away, the toilets do not have water supply.
“We have to stay here till 7 p.m. for special classes. Students from the same village are forced to visit their homes during the interval,” says P. Ashwini of Class X who comes from Pocharam. Borrowing water fetched for midday meals begets admonition from the cooks. GPHS, Ragannaguda in Hayatnagar mandal has toilets as well as water supply.
However, it has neither doors, nor anybody to oversee the hygiene. Students complain that anti-social elements litter the complex. While the lack of toilets continues to plague many schools in the district, more worrisome is the number of non-functional toilets due to lack of upkeep.
An informal survey carried out by the Rajiv Vidya Mission, the number of non-functional toilets in the district’s schools stands at over a thousand. Notable is the fact that the number of schools having toilets stands at 1,062. If one assumes that the schools within the city are any better, they will be in for a shock upon visiting ZPHS, Bahadurguda, L.B.Nagar. The unhygienic environs and the unbearable stench are sure to leave one sick. Even the school which houses the Deputy Education Officer does not have water pipeline connection, or anyone to fetch water.