Published: 27th December 2018
No toilets in schools, children in Perumbakkam settlements have to defecate in the open
Children also complained about safety issues in the resettlements and that the local police have been of no help either
Children of a primary school in Perumbakkam, where families have been resettled in urban informal settlements, are made to defecate in the open due to the lack of toilets in the school, read petitions handed over by the children themselves to RG Anand, member, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). He was on an inspection of the resettlement colony on Thursday.
The first and foremost complaint from the children was that there are no toilets in the local schools and they were made to defecate in the open, said Anand. The inspection was based on a complaint filed by Shivani Chaudhry, executive director, Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) and Vanessa Peter, Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC). The children also poured out concerns of safety in the resettlement area after dark and that the complaints were not taken up seriously by the local police. "We have forwarded the complaints to the local police and have asked them to take immediate action from here on," said Anand.
While there were around 13,000 families in the resettlement site, there was only one two-room Primary Health Centre. This was another complaint raised by residents there. "We are planning to recommend a nationalised school for the children in Perumbakkam. We have also taken note of the other complaints and we plan to take concrete action on the complaints within 30 days," said Anand.
In their complaint to the NCPCR filed earlier this month, Vanessa Peter and Shivani Chaudhry had raised concerns over the mid-academic year evictions, disrupting their education and also over the lack of infrastructure in the resettled sites, further adding to the vulnerability of children resettled there.