We avoid using the dirty washrooms, say girls in Telangana govt schools
By DECCAN CHRONICLE | Bansari trivedi J
Hyderabad: ‘I am scared to use the washroom’, ‘I hold the urge to use the toilet until I reach home’, ‘I feel like puking as soon as I enter the washroom’, are the cries common among students, teachers and principals in government schools and junior colleges in the state. Holding the urge to use the washroom for several hours, drinking less water in order to avoid using the toilet and missing classes by staying home, especially during the first three days of menstruation, have become commonplace, so to say.
Aamena, a class seven student in a government school, said that toilets are not cleaned for years together and all girls from class 1-10 are compelled to use the same washroom.
“There is no water supply nor are there mugs or buckets in the toilets. Primary students defecate inside and outside the toilet, which is not cleaned for days. Not only do the toilets stink but the nauseating smell spreads to the classrooms. I feel like vomiting the moment I enter the toilet. It is only after we complain to teachers that someone is sent to clean the washrooms,” she said. She has stopped drinking water while in school.
Meanwhile, junior college students said that menstrual pads are thrown in the washrooms as there are no dustbins. It was ditto with government school students.
“There is water supply in the washrooms but there are no mugs. Not once have we seen soap in the toilets. The washrooms are filled with flies and used pads,” said many intermediate students.
Meanwhile, teachers and headmasters have said that they go to their homes or nearby restaurants or to a friend’s house to use the toilet during their break or free hours or during emergencies in between classes. ‘My health has been badly affected. I stopped using the dirty washrooms,” said a government school headmaster. A lecturer added that she travels all the way to her home, 20 minutes away from the college to use the washroom after she developed a UTI infection.
Not only is it directly affecting the health of students and teachers but also academics as they are unable to stay focused.
Meanwhile, several representations by teachers and headmasters to the director of education seeking appointment of enough regular cleaners, have gone down the drain. The officials have turned a deaf ear to complaints regarding unsafe and unhygienic conditions of classrooms and washrooms in government schools and junior colleges.