Truth about Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan: 40% of toilets non-existent, unused in govt schools surveyed by CAG

In a survey by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) almost 40% of toilets in Government schools were found to be non-existent, partially constructed, or unused

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)


As part of a Right to Education project, Public sector units have claimed to have constructed 1.4 lakh toilets in government schools. But in a survey by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) almost 40% were found to be non-existent, partially constructed, or unused, reported The Hindu.

On Wednesday, in an audit report presented in Parliament, CAG said over 70% did not have running water facilities in the toilets, while 75% were not being maintained hygienically.

In September 2014, Ministry of Human Resource Development had launched Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan to meet the Right to Education Act’s mandate that all schools must have separate toilets for boys and girls.

There are around 10.8 lakh government schools across the country. Overall, more than 1.4 lakh toilets were built by 53 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs).

The audit by CAG conducted a physical survey of a sample of 2,695 toilets built by these companies in 15 States.

In the survey, CAG found out that CPSEs identified but did not construct 83. Another 200 toilets were reported to be constructed, but were non-existent, while 86 toilets were only partially constructed.

Another 691 toilets “were found not in use mainly due to lack of running water, lack of cleaning arrangements, damages to the toilets and other reasons like use of toilets for other purposes, toilets locked up, etc,” said the audit report.

99 schools had no functional toilets while 436 had only one functional toilet, out of the 1,967 co-educational schools surveyed.

It means that the objective of providing separate toilets for boys and girls was not fulfilled in 27% of the schools, said CAG.

To effectively change the behaviour of students, the project norms required the CPSEs to build toilets with running water and hand washing facilities, and to maintain the toilets for three to five years while charging the annual expenses to their CSR budgets.

The survey has found that 72% of constructed toilets had no running water facilities inside, while 55% had no hand washing facilities at all. The audit also noticed “cases of defective construction of toilets, non-provision of foundation/ramp/staircase and damaged/overflowed leach pit, which led to ineffective use of toilets,” read the report.

75% of toilets did not follow the norm for daily cleaning at least once a day. The survey found that 715 toilets were not being cleaned at all, while 1,097 were being cleaned with a frequency of twice a week to once a month. “Cases of non-provision of soap, bucket, cleaning agents and disinfectants in toilets and inadequate cleanliness of pathway were also noticed,” said the report.

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