The students of the Government Higher Secondary School at Poovalur in Tiruchi district have a reason to rejoice — a brand new toilet complex constructed with the help of donations in kind from well-wishers and friends.
The washrooms have wash basins, sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators.Of the 13 toilets in the complex, one is meant for differently-abled students, and four toilets have been constructed separately for teachers. The complex has been built on an 820 sq. ft. area on the premises. As many as 135 girl students had been using toilets inside an old structure, which had no lights and was susceptible to inundation during the rainy season. “The new toilet complex has been constructed in a safe and easily accessible location,” says Posali S., the headmistress of the school.
Satheesh Kumar, a Science teacher at the school, led the initiative to acquire the necessary material, worth ₹10.5 lakh. Mr. Kumar said he conceived the idea of a toilet complex while watching a video on his mobile, depicting the travails faced by girls from economically weaker backgrounds in relieving themselves in the open.
“Till then, I had no idea that my own girl students faced such a problem. Many shied away from speaking about it, but some were candid in expressing their plight,” he says.It was then that Mr. Kumar started asking for help from friends and well-wishers. “A vegetable seller came to me and offered two sacks of cement. He said his daughters did not go to school due to the lack of access to washrooms, and he did not want other girls in the village to face such a situation,” he says.
“There were impediments. Cement and bathroom fittings were stolen. Nevertheless, the construction work is now over and the toilet complex will be inaugurated on November 21,” says Mr. Kumar, who has volunteered to meet the cost of maintaining the complex as well.
(source : The Hindu)