AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court has ordered that schools nationwide must be provided with toilets and drinking water within six months, calling it part of children’s right to an education.
The court said in the judgement seen by AFP today that research showed wherever toilet facilities are inadequate, parents are reluctant to send their children to school — especially if they are girls.
Lack of toilets and drinking water ‘clearly violate the right to free and compulsory education of children’, the court said in the judgement handed down earlier in the week.
The court stated children need to ‘study in a clean and healthy environment’ and said its ruling applied to state and privately run schools.
State governments must provide ‘toilet facilities for boys and girls, drinking
water facilities, sufficient classrooms, appointment
of teaching and non-teaching staff etcetera, if not
already provided, within
The top court was acting on a petition filed in 2004 by a charity organisation but still not implemented despite several rulings.
An activist group, Right to Education Forum, reported in April that one in 10 Indian schools lack proper drinking water facilities while 40 percent do not have toilets.