Protests erupted at a government college in Telangana’s Saroornagar as students demanded clean toilets and sanitation facilities. Students were seen gathered around a demonstration raising slogans and carrying placards that said: “We want justice”.
The students say that the university does not have a toilet and they staged a demonstration. The agitated students said they need clean sanitation facilities and will not relent in their protests until the authorities provide them.
The students have also requested Telangana Education Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy to look into the sanitation infrastructure of the government college.
The students said the university should resolve the issues immediately. Sources say that the university management and faculty members have tried to negotiate with the students, but they have stated that they will continue their protest until they get basic facilities like toilets.
Lack of toilets in Telangana
Telangana has the lowest percentage of toilets in government-run schools across the country. Only 76.7% of boys and mixed government schools have toilets in their premises.
The number for girls is slightly better: 88.6%, according to data published by the Union Ministry of Education in the Education Plus (UDISE+) report.
The numbers are staggering, since the introduction of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in recent years, due to the central government’s targeted support for building toilets.
The right to education law
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 mandates governments to provide drinking water and toilets in schools. The law also mandates separate toilets for boys and girls.
The Right to Education Act requires all schools to:
At least one room for each teacher and one room for the head office; barrier-free access; separate toilets for boys and girls; safe and adequate drinking water for all children; A kitchen where lunch is prepared at school; playground; arrangements to secure the school building, as a boundary.