Poll fest: Students to get access to clean toilets

DEO (City) asks schools to maintain basic facilities like clean toilets and drinking water
Thanks to the upcoming election, city school students will have access to clean toilets and proper drinking water. A recent circular by the District Education Officer (Ahmedabad City) has directed more than 300 primary, secondary and higher secondary schools to ensure cleanliness in the toilets, on school campus and availability of drinking water during election.The circular states: “Keeping the coming Assembly election in mind, election officials from the Daskroi constituency have written a letter stating that during inspection of various schools for election booths, it was noticed that many of them did not have drinking water facility nor were the toilets and campuses clean. Thus, school principals are asked to make sure that keeping the Election Day, which is December 14, in mind, there should be availability of clean drinking water and schools will have to keep the toilets and campuses clean on immediate basis.’ Meanwhile, the students welcomed the circular and hoped the directive is adhered to even after the election is over. “It is good that the DEO has issued a circular. But there are times when the toilets are not clean and water from the cooler leaks.There are no inspection during the regular days and schools get away with it. Students and their health should also be a priority for the schools and DEO,“ said a student of Class 9. One of the principals, on the condition of anonymity said, “It is the duty of each and every school to maintain hygiene on campus. Also it is the duty of the DEO to cross check if toilets are clean and drinking water is provided to the students. There has to be a permanent solution to the problem.“

Another principal wishing to stay anonymous said, “The DEO circular conveys a wrong message that the schools are not concerned of the students’ well-being. It is only due to election that DEO has stepped in. Rest of the year, it is the school that ensures students have all the basic facilities.“

Navneet Mehta, DEO (City) said, “When elections are being conducted, we are given instructions which we need to convey to the schools to ensure that cleanliness is maintained.Round the year we conduct inspections in school to see if things are in place so this is not election specific.The circular has not been issued under pressure.“

Mujahid Nafees, education activist, said, “There have been numerous complaints by activists like us on the same issue but it has been neglected till now. Thanks to the election, the DEO has had to take note of the situation and act upon it.“



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