Updated: July 26, 2022 7:20:33 am
The Bombay High Court on Monday said that it will direct the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA) to conduct surprise inspections of schools and educational institutions in every district of Maharashtra on the conditions of the toilet facilities for the girl students.
The HC said that it will monitor the situation through judicial machinery and referred to the repeated failure by the state government to ensure such facilities and said that it was not going to accept excuses by the state for the delay in resolving the menstrual hygiene issues.
The bench asked the secretaries of DLSAs across districts, which fall under the jurisdiction of the principal seat at Mumbai, including 11 districts around Mumbai to pay surprise visits to 15 schools in every district and the school management shall allow them to enter the premises to inspect the hygiene facilities.
The court said that it will pass orders for the rest of the districts in due course.
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A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik was hearing PIL by a law student Nikita Gore through advocate Vinod Sangvikar that sought direction from the authorities for effective implementation of the ‘Menstrual Hygiene Management National Guidelines, 2015’.
Last month, the petitioner filed an affidavit informing the court that no proper steps had been undertaken by the state government for proper and effective management of menstrual hygiene in schools. Gore had said that she had surveyed 16 schools in seven districts to record the unclean and unhygienic state of affairs in washrooms and toilets for girls in government-aided schools. She submitted that 24 hour water supply to keep the toilets clean was not available in said schools and sanitary napkins were not provided adequately and their disposal mechanism was not proper.
On Monday, Additional Government Pleader Bhupesh V Samant for the state government submitted the remedial steps proposed by the state authorities after the officers visited some of the schools pointed out by the petitioner.
Samant submitted that the government has proposed action through respective officers and also recommended that the Parents-Teachers Associations (PTAs), which meet every month should monitor the aspect of provision and disposal of sanitary pads. Samant sought one-day time for the state government to file a detailed affidavit as per June 27 order, which had given two weeks to the government for the same.
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