Last month, the Supreme Court directed all States and Union territories to ensure creation of basic toilet facilities, particularly for girl students, in all government schools within six months, for meaningful implementation of Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act.
About 250 girls in the Government Higher Secondary School at Siruganoor did not have to wait for that long. On Monday, a girl-friendly toilet block was dedicated for their use by Rotary Club of Tiruchirapalli Shakthi, an all women club. The project was initiated during July this year when Collector Jayashree Muralidharan laid the foundation stone.
The block comprising six toilets constructed with Rs.2.75 lakh contribution by the club and able financial support from Mangal Home Builders features a vending machine for sanitary napkins and incinerator for their eco-friendly disposal.
The club mobilised the funds by organising Kala Sangamam, a three-day cultural festival in association with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
The toilet block, says Rani Muralidharan, Immediate Past President of the club, will encourage parents in rural areas to continue educating their daughters after they attain puberty.
So far, all the girls had to depend on a single toilet at a desolate spot in the school campus. Now, the location is quite ideal for the students, providing them the much-required privacy.
The all-women Rotaract Club of neighbouring M.A.M. College of Engineering will monitor the maintenance of the toilet, vending machine and incinerator, and gradually hand over the task to a committee of higher secondary girls in the school.
On Tuesday, experts apprised the higher secondary girl students of the corollary between health and hygienic toilets and told them that discussing about biological changes in the body was not a taboo.
Inaugurating the toilet block, the MLA of Mannachanallur T.P.Poonatchi observed that the new toilet block was of a modern kind in the real sense of the term. The MLA inaugurated the facility in the presence of the president of the Club Sheeba Mathuram, secretary Allirani Balaji, and treasurer Subashini Manohar.