The High Court of Karnataka on Monday described as ‘sorry state of affairs’ after it found that 464 government schools had no toilet facility and 87 schools had no facility for drinking water in the State.
“Is it not a shame...”, the court asked while referring to the data, which revealed that 126 schools in Kalaburagi district alone did not have toilets.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice M.G.S. Kamal made the oral observations during the hearing of a PIL petition related to the issue of out-of-school children and infrastructure to be provided in schools as per the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, and the Rules.
The Bench made the observations after noticing from the report, submitted by senior advocate and amicus curiae K.N. Phanindra, on the status of out-of-school children and on schools lacking in basic infra structure in terms of norms of the RTE law. The amicus curiae had submitted the report based on data and information provided by various departments of the State government.
As per the data, only in seven districts - Chamarajanagar, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Kodagu, Mysuru, Udupi, and Uttara Kannada - all the schools had toilets, and in the remaining districts, there was at least one school without the facility.
Apart from Kalaburagi district, which had the highest number of schools not having toilets, Yadgir, Vijayapura, Raichur, and Vijayanagar districts had 58, 50, 27, and 26 schools, respectively, without toilets.
Five schools in Bengaluru rural district, one in Bengaluru North, and four in Bengaluru South had no toilets, as per the data.
Kalaburagi district topped in schools (22) not having drinking water facility. However, in 15 districts, all schools had facility of drinking water.
The Bench adjourned further hearing to enable the government to respond to the report submitted by the amicus curiae.