Although about 94% of primary and middle schools in Madhya Pradesh have toilets, only 31% of them are in use by students, revealed a survey conducted by a local NGO network. The usage figures have come down from 75% in 2011 when only 58% of the schools had toilets.
However, the falling numbers become clearer in the light of the fact that 88% of the toilets do not have water connection and 37% do not have separate sections for girls. Further, only 21% of the toilets were found to be clean.
The results of the survey, conducted in July this year, were shared exclusively with HT on Thursday on occasion of the World Toilet Day.
The NGOs’ network -- MP Lok Sahabhagi Sajha Manch (MPLSSM) -- had conducted the survey in 228 schools of 12 districts, including 189 schools from rural areas of ten districts and 39 schools from urban areas of Gwalior and Indore districts.
Survey finds state lagging on separate toilets for girls and boys too
It was found that of the surveyed schools, 214 had toilets, but only 125 (58%) had separate toilets for girls and boys. Since 11 of these schools were exclusively girls or boys’ school, it was inferred that 37% schools did not have separate toilet facilities for girls, Javed Anees of the MPLSSM told HT.
Toilets in 112 schools (52%) were in unusable or broken and those in 19 schools were found locked. Sanitation workers had been appointed to clean the toilets only in 37 (18%) schools, it was found.
‘Only 12% toilets have water connection’
“Apart from the unclean conditions, one of the major reasons for poor usage of toilet is that only 12% toilets have water connections. We cannot expect students to use toilets without water,” Anees said.
The organisation will be presenting the survey results to the state government with three demands -- separate toilets for boys and girls in all primary and middle schools in the state, appointment of sanitation workers for daily cleaning and making water available in all school toilets.
The MPLSSM has been conducting annual surveys on the condition of toilets in schools of MP for the past five years, from 2011, and has found that while on some aspects of toilet building, the state government has done well, things have worsened in some other aspects.
For example, while the usage of toilets has gone down from 75% to 31%, the percentage of clean toilets has gone down from 53% to 21% while the number of unusable toilets has gone up to 52% from 24%.
Deepti Gaud Mukherjee, the commissioner of Rajya Shiksha Kendra (of School Education Department) while reacting to the details of the survey, said that focused work on separate toilets for girls and boys was done during the month of July and August this year.
“The survey in July might not be reflecting that figure,” she said. On poor usage of toilets, she conceded that it was a problem, but the department was intent on behavioural change through special sessions in schools. Divisional workshops are also being conducted for sensitisation of senior officials so the correct attitude could percolate downwards, she said.
Schools surveyed: 228
Toilets constructed in: 214
Separate toilets in: 125
Toilets used in: 66
Toilets clean in: 44
Toilets unusable/broken in: 112
Toilets locked in: 19
Toilets without water in: 189