Published: 20th November 2021
World Toilet Day 2021: More than 30 per cent of Odisha schools don't have proper toilets, drinking water, finds survey
As schools are reopening in the state in a phased manner, the government must prioritise building and up-keeping school toilets to attract students, especially girls back to schools
Around 30 per cent of schools in Odisha do not have functional toilets, revealed a survey report released on the occasion of World Toilet Day 2021 on November 19. The report also stated that the lack of such facility is severely affecting the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme that intends to contribute positively to children's health, education and overall well-being in schools.
As per the survey carried out by the Atmashakti Trust and its allies – Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha – in 10,043 government-run schools across 82 blocks of 18 districts in the state, a whopping 3,081, i.e 30.77 per cent schools, lacked functional toilets. The survey also found that 3,438 (34.34 per cent) of these sample schools don't have the provision of safe drinking water. Lack of toilet and drinking water facilities directly impact the turnout of students on campuses.
Unfortunately, many of the schools in rural areas do not have proper washrooms or provision of drinking water. As schools are reopening in the state in a phased manner, the government must prioritise building and up-keeping school toilets to attract students, especially girls back to schools, the survey findings stressed. Apart from toilets and provision of drinking water, the survey found that 1,995 (19.92 per cent) schools are yet to have functional kitchen space to prepare mid-day meals, while a whopping 5,638 schools (57.31 per cent) don't have a boundary wall. Power supply and provision of light and fan were also missing in 5,430 schools, i.e 54.23 per cent of schools during the survey, revealed the study report. Moreover, it stated that 86.61 per cent, i.e 8,497 sample schools surveyed by the trust didn't have playground.