Citizen Groups Write to Chief Minister for Better Sanitation facilities in Schools in Ganjam

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Berhampur: More than 120 members of various 15 citizen groups named as Sanitation Task Force mostly consists women in four blocks in Ganjam district Khallikote, Purusottampur, Chatrapur and Kabisuryanagar have written letter to the Education and Chief Minister of Odisha on better sanitation facilities in schools in Ganjam district.
Before the re-opening of schools on 18th June after the summer vacation these women members visited the schools and verified the sanitation situation in schools. They oversee functional toilets in schools, separate toilet and urinals for girls, water supply to the toilets, hand washing facilities, supply of toiletries, management of garbage, menstrual hygiene facilities and operation and maintenance of toilets in their respective villages etc.
Most of the schools toilets are not clean, no water supply, no menstrual facilities for girls, no hand washing facilities and toiletries are not supplied, overall the toilets are not cleaned and maintained regularly. The SMC members and school staff are not giving any priority for the better availability and maintenance of toilet facilities in schools in Ganjam district.
Youth for Social Development, a grass root NGO based in Berhampur, Odisha recently assessed the condition of school sanitation through the use of citizen report card and physically verified schools toilets and found there are availability of toilets but children are not allowed to use those and found existence of discrimination; poor menstrual facilities with less than 25% schools have soap, changing space and disposal bins; only 52% primary schools and 34% upper primary have hand washing facilities; only 50% schools have facilities for CWSN; only 57% have IEC activities on sanitation behaviour and practice; only in 58% schools SMC members discuss on sanitation issues; schools staffs are very much dissatisfied with the sanitation facilities and in overall satisfaction is low in case of households.
These groups written several times to the school and local authorities but didn’t get their grievances readdressed so they now unanimously written letter to the education minister and chief minister of Odisha Sri Naveen Patnaik.
“Toilets are very dirty and not in a condition to use, we request the CM to pay attention”, Santi Nahak, group leaders, Tulasipur
“Girl children face many difficulties in schools during their menstrual period due to unavailability of facilities” Chhabi Barika, group member, Badhinuapalli, Khallikote block

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