Rakesh Kumar, a Class 9 student of a government school, does not drink water between 8am and 2pm everyday because he cannot relieve himself as his school does not have a toilet.
He says the school has no toilet for boys and they are not allowed to use the toilet meant for men staff on the school campus. The situation is no different in other government schools in Ludhiana district. There are 46 schools in the district that exist without toilets for boys.
A report submitted to the central government under the District Information System for School Education (DISE) reveals that 46 government schools of Ludhiana district exist without boys toilets from the past several years.
While one may expect lack of such facilities in remote areas, surprisingly the government schools in Ludhiana do not have toilets for boys, who either relieve themselves in open or go home in between school hours.
According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, it is mandatory to have separate toilets for boys and girls. In Ludhiana, there are 1,604 government schools, of which 46 do not have toilet for boys and two schools do not have toilet for girls.
An in-charge of a government school, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The school has strength of 500 students, but it does not have separate toilets for boys and girls. The school has one toilet which is shared by all students. There is a need to come up with separate toilets for boys and girls.”
When contacted, Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema, said, “There are around 1,200 schools in the state that are without toilets for both boys and girls. We have already started the process and a lot of corporate house have shown interest in constructing toilets in government schools. This is a serious issue and we will make all efforts so that every school has a separate toilet for boys and girls.”