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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Yes, we need toilets for girls, but let’s not forget the boys either

Data reveals that boys’ access to toilets is much lesser than girls

Written by Devanik Saha |
Updated: December 29, 2014 7:02:30 pm
Most toilets are filthy too. Most toilets are dysfunctional too.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have stressed on building toilets in schools for both boys and girls, but all the discussion seems to be centred around the lack of toilets for girls. Not much is discussed about lack of toilets for boys. It is true that girls are more prone to dropout from schools and face crimes because of this, but looking holistically, even boys should have the right to toilets.

As per the data from District Information System for Education (DISE), the percentage of schools having toilets for girls is less than percentage of schools having toilets for boys in just four states; Meghalaya, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tripura and West Bengal. Overall, in 27 out of 36 States and Union Territories (UTs), boys have either equal or lesser toilets than girls.

Last Teacher’s Day, Modi stressed on the point of how lack of toilets forces girls to drop out of schools. He had urged all MPs to invest their constituency funds into building toilets in every school, saying: “There should be separate toilets for girls. Next year when we stand here, every school should have toilets for girls and boys”.

Looking at the data for percentage of dysfunctional toilets among existing toilets, in 14 out of 36 states and UTs, the percentage of dysfunctional toilets for girls is more than the percentage of dysfunctional toilets for boys, whereas 16 states have vice-versa. The charts below will make the picture clear.

Six states where percentage of schools without boys toilets is more

States where percentage of schools without girls toilets is more

The data reveals that boys’ access to toilets is much lesser than girls. As we all know, sanitation is a basic right and the government should focus on building toilets for girls as well as boys, and not just focus on girls to leverage it to gain attention and fame.

For long, we have solely focused on ensuring sanitation for girls, but we must also start giving equal attention to sanitation for boys.


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