By Jyoti Prakash Das
Jharigam: At a time when the Narendra Modi Government is pushing for construction of toilets, especially for girl students, in schools across the country, students from a government-run residential schools in Odisha have to walk over 1 km to the nearby forest area to relieve themselves.
The students of Ramadevi Girls High school in Jharigam block in Nabarangpur district have to walk one and half km twice a day carrying bucketfuls of water and mug with them to relieve themselves.
At present, 90 students are staying in the hostels of the residential school, which is being managed by the ST and SC Development department, Government of Odisha, since its inception in 1990.
It is not that the school doesn’t have toilets. As many as 28 toilets were constructed in the school premises three years ago. However, these toilets remain unused due to non-availability of water and electricity.
When asked to Asst engineer, ITDA Bibhuti Bhusan Dash in this regard, he said, “The construction work of toilets in the school premises was completed in 2014, but these have not been handed over to the school authorities as there is no electricity or water supply to these toilets”.
Parents and guardians of the girls, besides the villagers, are angry about the fact that grown-up girl students continue to defecate in the open despite having toilets in the school premises. But there is nothing they can do about it.