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SC cracks the whip, asks govt to build toilets in all schools in 6 months

SC cracks the whip, asks govt to build toilets in all schools in 6 months
Taking a strong view of schools lacking basic infrastructure across the country, including drinking water and toilet facilities and electricity supply, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the central and state governments to change this reality in all schools within six months.

Expressing concern over the plight of children studying in government schools, especially those who belong to weaker sections of society, the court directed the governments to file a compliance report within six months. A bench comprising Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra said that all its previous directions pertaining to providing infrastructure should be implemented within the time frame fixed by it.

The apex court was hearing a public interest litigation [PIL] by a non-governmental organisation Environmental and Consumer Protection Foundation, which had sought direction to the central and state governments to provide basic facilities of drinking water and toilets in schools. It had contended that most schools, especially in non-urban centres, were being run without these basic facilities. Some of them held classes in tents or even in the open. The PIL sought better education facilities and proper schooling in order to check the rapid drop-out rate.

On 18 October last year, the court had directed all states and union territories to build toilets, particularly for girls, in all government schools. The Supreme Court had earlier said that it was imperative that all schools provided toilet facilities, as empirical researches indicated that wherever toilet facilities were not provided in schools, parents did not send their children, particularly girls, to schools.

The court had also observed that not providing the infrastructure was a violation of the right to free and compulsory education of children guaranteed under Article 21[A] of the constitution.
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