All the government schools in Punjab, which have been identified for having no proper sanitation facilities, specially toilets, by the state government, will have toilets before March 31 next.
Stating this, education minister Daljeet Singh Cheema, who launched the 'Sohna School campaign' at the Government Senior Secondary School in Mothanwala village of the district, said separate toilets for girls and boys would be constructed in all government schools.
A grant of `8.5 crore has been announced by the state government for improving sanitation facilities in the schools and the education minister allocated `3.5 crore to kickstart the campaign for the construction of separate toilets in government schools.
Wielding brooms, Cheema, renowned environmentalist Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, director
general of school education (DGSE) GK Singh, former education minister Upinderjit Kaur, MLA, and deputy commissioner DS Mangat launched the 'Sohna School campaign' with a message to keep the schools clean and ensure a hygienic environment in their surroundings.
In a recent survey, around 400 government schools were found without toilets, whereas around 1,100 schools are having toilets which are not functional.
He said that cleanliness of toilets does not only depend on sweepers, but it is the responsibility of every citizen to keep the toilet clean so that the next person can also use the toilet after him.
Addressing students, the minister said that being citizens of the country, it is their responsibility to keep their surroundings clean by using dustbins instead of throwing garbage on roads, maintain greenery by planting more trees and flush toilets after using them.
Cheema also requested to school authorities to organise competitions related to cleanliness and environment so that children could know the importance of cleanliness in their surroundings.
Upinderjit Kaur urged the government to start science classes and vocational centres in the 14 government senior secondary schools falling under her constituency.
Cheema accepted her demand for the school where the function was held and allocated `5 lakh from his discretionary funds to start science classes and vocational centre there.
DC Mangat, while seeking people's support for the cleanliness drive, said, "It is a good effort by the government and now it's our responsibility to ensure success of this campaign so that others can emulate".