36 percent Odisha schools have no toilets: Study

Bhubaneswar, Nov 14 (IANS) A study has found that 36 percent of schools in Odisha still have no functional toilets and 76 percent have no hand-wash facilities.

According to the study, more than one-third schools do not have even one functional toilet while 57 percent of high schools do not have functional toilets for girls.

The assessment was carried out by 21 civil society organisations of Odisha under the banner of the Right to Education (RTE) forum with coordination support from Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC).

The study was carried out in October this year in 160 schools situated in rural areas in 20 districts.

While 43 percent high schools did not have a single toilet, 79 percent of high schools did not have menstrual hygiene management facilities, said the report.

“We found that government commitments are still unfulfilled and the Supreme Court’s orders are still not fully complied with as schools of rural Odisha adversely suffer from water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure problems,” said RTE convener Anil Pradhan.

Even the Sevashram schools managed by the SC and ST development department fared poorly on functional toilets for girls’ indicator — 40 percent of Sevashram schools did not have any functional toilet for girl students.

The only silver lining that the study found was that in 41 percent schools assessed, at least some form of renovation or construction work had been done in the last one year to improve water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, said RCDC senior programme manager Bimal Prasad Pandia.

Under the Swachh Vidyalaya Mission, 43,501 toilets are targeted to be completed in Odisha. It includes construction of 17,214 new toilets for boys, 11,294 new toilets for girls and repair of 6,679 toilets for boys and 8,314 toilets for girls, said the report.

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