Thanks to Covid-19 that schools across the state are closed else 37,914 schools would have been making special arrangements to observe the Global Handwashing Day on their premises as these schools lack handwashing facilities.
According to a government report, as many as 37,914 schools out of total 99,987 primary and middle schools in Madhya Pradesh don't have handwash facility. In addition to this, 23,236 schools do not have handwash facility for midday meal.
Ironically, the theme for this year on the global handwashing day is, ‘Hand Hygiene for all.’ The report prepared by the school education department has divided the handwash facility in two categories- handwash facility for toilet and for midday meal. More than 37% of the schools across the state do not have handwash facility for toilet and about 23% do not have it for midday meals.
Highest numbers of schools deprived of handwash facility are situated in Alirajpur, Balaghat, Betul, Dhar, Jabalpur, Jhabua, Khargone, Mandla, Morena, Rewa, Sagar, Satna, Shahdol and Sidhi districts. There are more than 1000 schools in each district that do not have handwash facility.
‘Can you imagine what teachers and students have to undergo where there is no handwash facility after toilet or for midday meals? The school education department has been running this handwash campaign for couple of years now,’ said Ashutosh Pandey, state convener of Teachers’ Congress. About 60% of the schools do not have appropriate arrangements for handwash, as water connection is the main challenge, he added.
Considering the reality, the school education department in its instructions to celebrate the global handwashing day does not forgets to mention to arrange for a separate bucket, mug and soap where handwashing facility is not available.
On anvil: Spl 100-day scheme to provide tap water to all schools
Govt to start special 100 day scheme to bring tap water to all schools
This comes as good news for schools in Madhya Pradesh. Government will start a special 100 day campaign to bring tap water in cent percent schools. At present 91% of schools in MP do not have tap water facility.
The ‘Nal se Jal’ (water through tap) initiative by Union Government has asked the states to coordinate with all concerning department and make available tap water in all schools, ashrams and aganwadis.
The school education department has issued instructions to collectors and mission directors of all districts. The letter clearly states that there should be sufficient water in the toilets as well.
Areas where there is no electricity, solar power should be used to ensure tap water supply.
The letter and instructions of union ministry also states that all related departments including Public Health Engineering department, Panchaytiraj, Rural development department, SC/ST Welfare department, Women and Child Development Department and Health department will play their roles to ensure success of 100 day programme for tap water.