Safe Drinking Water in Government Schools Still a Distant Dream

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Article courtesy of V Devanathan | June 25, 2014 | The Times of India | Shared as educational material

MADURAI: At a time when the government is insisting on public and children to consume safe drinking water to keep away from diseases, potable drinking water facility in government schools is a far cry from reality. Students and parents say that they are asked to carry water from home as a large number of schools do not even have proper connection.

Representatives of teachers’ association say that some schools lack any sort of water facility, leave alone potable water. The absence of drinking water facility in Vandiyur Corporation High School irked the students that they recently staged a protest along with members of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI). They had also warned to stage more such protests if the drinking water issue is not sorted out.

“Many parents prefer private and aided schools for many reasons and the absence of potable drinking water, toilet and sanitation facilities are the primary reasons. Majority of schools in the district and many schools under corporation lack potable drinking water. Borewells are there but water does not exist. Very few schools have purifiers to ensure safe drinking water,” said S Kathick, district president, SFI.

“Teachers mostly rely on philanthropists to install purifiers to convert saline borewell water into potable one. Water level in the borewells have gone down. So we have insisted the students to bring water from home. Government should provide water purifier in all the schools,” P Saravanamurugan, district president, Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary School Post graduate Teachers Association said.

“The condition of corporation is also the same as underground water level has down in many areas. The corporation is supplying water once in four days after the frequency was reduced since February. As there is no adequate storage facility students are often left with no other option but to bring water from home. Girl students are worst affected as they could not use toilet facility without water,” said a corporation school headmaster.

“A few schools were provided with purifiers. Water would be drawn from borewells to be fed in the purifiers. Now the purifiers have become defunct in many schools due to the absence of timely maintenance. Borewells have also stopped yielding water. There are many schools without water connection from the local body. The authorities have no concern for the schools’ sanitation and ensuring drinking water facility,” said D Murugan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Primary School Teachers Federation.

School details in Madurai

Government high school – 61

Government higher secondary – 73

Municipality high school – 1

Kallar reclamation high schools – 16

Kallar reclamation higher secondary schools – 12

Corporation high schools – 9

Corporation higher secondary – 15

Government aided high school – 8

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