‘Steps taken to ensure hygiene in government schools’


An affidavit filed on behalf of the Principal Secretary, School Education, before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday said that sanitary napkin vending machines had been provided to 3,200 government high and higher secondary schools and incinerators or masonry choolas for safe disposal of sanitary napkins were given to 5,302 schools.

The submission was made before a Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and B. Pugalendhi. The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed in 2016 by the Women Advocates Association of the High Court Bench, which sought a direction to provide sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators to all government schools to ensure menstrual hygiene.

Reporting compliance of the order, it was submitted that out of the 5588 government high and higher secondary schools, the task was completed in 3200. In the other schools, sanitary napkins were distributed free of cost through designated teachers. The Menstrual Hygiene Programme implemented in the State from 2011-12 covers both school going and non-school going girls.

While teachers distributed the sanitary napkins at school, the village health nurse along with anganwadi workers gave away the napkins to non-school going girls. A total of ₹22.56 crore was spent on installation of incinerators in 5302 schools. Further, emphasis on providing basic infrastructure, particularly drinking water and toilets, at schools was made.

The School Education department draws an annual plan in convergence with the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department for providing facilities to primary and middle schools in rural areas and with Municipal Administration and Water Supply department for providing facilities to schools in municipalities, townships and corporation areas, the report said.

Field-level officials were instructed to keep toilets clean and well maintained. Violations would be taken seriously. Instructions were passed on to all the Headmasters and steps had been taken to fill up vacancies to the posts of sweeper and watchman. Compound walls in all government schools would be completed in due course, the report added. The court adjourned hearing in the case.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:25:36 PM |

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