AGARTALA: Moving a step closer towards sustainibility and conservational practices, health and environment experts in Tripura have planned a massive rooftop rainwater harvesting in schools to ensure clean toilet facilities as part of Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan (SVA), a flagship programme.
The ONGC held a workshop on Saturday in association with a civil society organization, ARPAN, and Auroville Foundation of Tamil Nadu for headmasters and school inspectors of West Tripura, Khowai and Sepahijala districts to ensure steady water supply in toilets.
According to an official report, ONGC had built toilets in 205 schools of Tripura in the past two years as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative with directives from the ministry of human resource development.
But more than 60% toilets have not been in use because of non-availability of water and other logistical difficulties.
“I found toilets to be extremely unhygienic in the schools here. A number of toilets were built across the state without even taking into account the strength of students and teachers and most of them are not in use. Largely, it is a failure of planning at the policy level,” said Minhaj Ameen of Auroville Foundation.
While building the toilets, basic issues like the need for toilets and availability of water were not considered and this created a lot of problems.
The school authorities have not raised the issues at the time of construction and a huge amount of public funds were used, said Rekha Banerjee, president of ARPAN Society.
Addressing the gathering, school education minister Tapan Chakraborty said improving water supply, sanitation and hygiene stems from a firm conviction and is based on sound evidence that these are central to ensuring the rights of children in a broader context.
It may be recalled that earlier, the State was also in the news for increase in the number of girl student drop outs due to non availibility of toilets in schools.