Mumbai: The students of Dayanand Balak Vidyalaya, Matunga, a school and junior college, are facing inconvenience due to lack of separate toilet facilities for boys and girls. The institute has two shifts for girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon. There is a separate toilet for male and female teachers, but not for the children. In the college, girl students attend lectures for Arts course in the morning and boys attend for Commerce in the afternoon. The institute has only one common toilet on every floor for girls as well as boys as the institute does not have funds to construct separate toilets. When the school was a centre for the Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board exam, the students had to use the same toilet on the floor.
Every class has as many as 55 girls and 45 boys. There is no fee for the school and junior college, as most students are from slum settlements. The salaries of teachers are paid by state government. Umesh Singh, an administrative staff of the college, said, “The children attend the school for free. It is difficult to manage the infrastructure, as half the money is paid for electricity bills. We had approached a non-governmental organisation (NGO), but to no avail.” The institute was a residential building, which the government overtook in 1948 for a school for the poor.
The principal of the institute, BP Singh, said, “Two years ago, ONGC had funded the renovation of the school toilet. The building has not been painted for years. We do not have sufficient funds to manage the infrastructure of the institute. The state does not provide any financial aid apart from the salary.” A student said, “We feel inconvenient to use the same toilet, as the institute is not constructing a separate facility for boys and girls. The toilets are dirty, and half are always closed. So, we have to search for an open toilet.”
- Gauresh Vagal