Bhopal: Whereas the state government has launched a drive to make the state an open defecation free state by 2019 there are several government offices which don’t have separate toilets for women.
However, in view of a recommendation made by Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) the state government has issued an order to its departments to make available separate toilets for woman employees.
“The general administration department has issued an order as per MPHRC’s recommendation for a separate toilet in government offices for women. The order copy has been sent to all additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries, secretaries and commissioners”, said LR Sisodia, public relations officer of MPHRC in an official communiqué.
The communiqué states, “MPHRC made the recommendation in view of dignity of women. The work of making available separate toilets would be implemented in six months. The commission has asked the government to comply with the deadline.”
As per 2011 census, as many as 71.2% households didn’t have latrines, the figure being the fourth highest after Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.
Though there is hardly any data available as to how many government offices don’t have separate toilets for woman employees, the state fell short of its target of building toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in the rural areas in 2015-16, slipping to the fourth spot from the third it held in the previous year.
As Hindustan Times reported official figures showed that Madhya Pradesh had built 9.32 lakh toilets in 2015-16 as against 5.21 lakh toilets in 2014-15. The state had set an ambitious target of building 18 lakh toilets under SBM in 2015-16. Officials said that pace of building toilets was slow in the first half of the financial year when 3.45 lakh toilets were built.
The speed of building toilets had picked up since October 2, 2014, when the Centre launched SBM and de-linked the toilet construction under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan from NREGA.