The SC has pulled up state governments and Union territories for not providing toilets in government schools. The Apex Court set a deadline of Dec 31 for the construction of toilets in all government run schools.
Temporary facilities must be provided by Nov 30, in case permanent services cannot be enabled, Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Dipak Misra said.
All sorts of bizarre news keeps coming out of the great nation of India, and those of its appalling bureaucracy are right up there at the top.
Media reports last month had found that 66% of schools in Jammu donâ€™t have toilets for the students. This holds for higher secondary schools that teach up to class 12 too.
â€œOut of total 2938 Government Middle schools in Jammu division, 1417 donâ€™t have toilet facility while 1648 schools also lack drinking water facility,â€ an official was quoted as saying.
This amazing case of bureaucratic imbecility was brought to light through an RTI application. (Yes it is the same law that the Honourable Prime Minster wants diluted). What on earth are students and teacher supposed to do when the feel the call of nature?
Perhaps as a way of balancing out the equation, most schools donâ€™t have drinking water either. So donâ€™t drink water, donâ€™t go to toilets. Simple isnâ€™t it? One need to bear in mind that even prisons have toilets and drinking water. Indeed how can they not?
â€œWe donâ€™t drink too much water before coming to school so that we donâ€™t have to use the public toilet that is always dirty. In case it is very urgent, we take permission from the teacher and go home,â€ says a class X student from a government school run by Pune Municipal Corporation.
When there are no toilets, it is futile to ask if there are separate ones for girls. Sure, enough even in those that do have toilets, girls and boys go to the same facility. The Principal of Shahid Abdul Hamid Primary School Sheikh Samrunisa admitted as much.
While the SC directive shows that at least one institution retains some semblance of decency and common sense, one would have to wait and see if the directive is actually implemented.