Decision Maker

Prithvi Reddy

  • State Convenor, AAP Karnataka, National Executive Member and Spokesperson, AAP

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Victory
Petitioning S. Suresh Kumar, Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta, Prithvi Reddy, Sharat Khadri

Increase Funds ForToilet Maintenance and Ensure Hygiene in Government schools in Karnataka

It’s heartening to see that the Centre has prioritized sanitation as one of the key items on the agenda and girls/ women’s empowerment. The Prime Minister’s plan to make this country Open Defecation Free is a major push towards enhancing the sanitation facilities in our country.  Schools are slowly opening their doors again, and they must operate within hygienic measures. But what does that mean?The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented risk to children’s education and wellbeing. Hygiene interventions play an important role in reducing and preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and in developing the necessary knowledge for positively impact attitudes of personal and school hygiene practices for students. In Government schools, toilet conditions are so bad that students, especially girls, try to avoid the toilets on menstruation days. It is no secret that the absence of clean toilets results in girls dropping out of school. But there is a major gap in government schools in Karnataka. The government, specifically the Rashtriya Madhyamika Shiksha (RMSA) allocates as little as 25,000 and 15000 per school annually based on type of school and strength of students  for overall maintenance. This means a school gets as little as Rs less than  2,000 for all costs including painting, electricity, printing, internet charge, repairs, and toilet maintenance. This is far from feasible, and as records reflect, this creates a situation where schools are forced to prioritize all other expenses, leaving the toilets on the back burner. Given the prioritization process, often only teacher’s toilets are maintained and these are kept under lock and key.  It is no secret that the absence of toilets results in girls dropping out of school. The dropout ratio is the highest in the age group of 11-13 when most girls hit puberty and the need for a clean, hygienic bathroom is crucial. The average cost for maintenance of bathrooms for a school - including the remuneration for someone to keep it clean is at least Rs. 15,000 a month.  India has been lagging significantly on both these issues. The fact that Karnataka’s spending on toilets in schools is abysmal is case in point.  Here I request to  Government are 1. Provide separate sufficient fund for Government school Toilet maintainance That is 15,000 per month per school  2. Provide clean and running water for School toilet 3. Provide menstrual hygiene sustainable  kits to girls   The Karnataka Government needs to ensure a budget allocation of 900 Crores per annum (for 49275 schools) specifically for girls toilets in schools to meet the twin objectives of women’s upliftment,  education, and improve sanitation levels in the state. and support Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program launched by govt of India  #CleanToilets #SwacchShouchalaya  #CleanToiletsForGovtSkls #CleanToiletsMatters 

Archana KR
57,063 supporters
Increase Funds ForToilet Maintenance and Ensure Hygiene in Government schools in Karnataka

Dear Citizens and Supporters of Archana’s campaign, Archana K.R’s petition on Change.org has been hard to miss on social media because of her tireless efforts to draw the attention of the Government of Karnataka to the issue of clean school toilets. I also noticed that over 55,000 citizens are standing with her. Today, as National Executive Member and Convenor of Aam Aadmi Party, Karnataka, I wish to not only convey my solidarity, but the solidarity and support of every volunteer, member and supporter of AAP, to Archana and her 55,000 supporters . It is our belief that “True nation building” can be achieved only through education of our children . AAP Karnataka team and I have been visiting many government schools in Karnataka. To our shock, we found that, even after 73 years of Independence, in many places, students are not able to access basic toilet facilities. When we spoke to Headmasters, Headmistresses and other school authorities, they told us they don’t have a proper budget for toilet maintenance, and due to this, the drop-out rates are high. In a short period of 6 years, the Aam Aadmi Party-led government in Delhi has revolutionised and transformed the public education sector in a way that not just the infrastructure but results of Government schools are now superior to private schools . It took less than two years for Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia to turn government schools into model schools that provide all the necessary facilities: drinking water, clean toilets, hygienic classrooms and premises, in addition to creating a curriculum that focuses on holistic learning, mental health and happiness. We have seen first-hand how government investments in these basics guarantee that students will gladly come to school and learn. I see no reason why the same cannot happen in government schools here in Karnataka. Therefore, I urge the government to consider Archana’s proposal for increasing the funds given to schools so that toilets can be kept clean all year round. This will have positive implications on both health and education outcomes of children in our state. Thank you, Prithvi Reddy National Executive Member and Convenor Aam Aadmi Party, Karnataka Twitter: @aapkaprithvi

1 year ago