The Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal and other officials who were inspecting civic-body run schools were in for a rude shock when they saw that the schools did not have proper infrastructure. The schools lacked security guards, buildings were in run-down condition, lack of CCTV cameras, mid-day meals, lack of toilets and drinking water.
Swati Maliwal visited four schools—Bhai Mandeep Nagpal Nigam Vidhyalaya, Nigam Pratibha Sah Shiksha Vidhyalaya, Purvi Dilli Nagar Nigam Pratibha Vidhyalaya, Dakshini Dilli Nagar Nigam Prathmik Sah Bal Balika Vidhyalaya—between May 20 and 21 after a horrific case of molestation of girls in a Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) school.
MCD Schools’ Dismal State
After her visit, she tweeted, “I am shocked to see the hopeless conditions at these MCD schools. These schools are horror houses where students and teachers are extremely unsafe. MCD is running schools where girls are forced to defecate in the open! So much so for the Total Sanitation Campaign!”
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Last year, while responding to a query in the Rajya Sabha, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that more than 42,000 government schools across India did not have drinking water facilities while more than 15,000 schools had no toilets. The minister quoted the statistics from the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) database.
However, data from a 2018 report found that only in 73% of Indian schools did the students have access to toilets. A publication alluded to another 2019 report which inferred that in schools that had toilets built, 22.8% of them were unusable. Additionally, the report stated that 11.5% of rural schools had no separate toilets for girls; and in schools that did, 10.5% of them were locked and 11.7% were locked and unusable. Another study by Comptroller and Auditor General a year later confirmed the 2019 findings.
Reports have stated that Delhi Commission for Women has issued a notice to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Commissioner and has demanded urgent improvements in the situation. They also demanded action be initiated against the officials responsible for the dismal condition of the schools.