India's Supreme Court Orders Toilets and Drinking Water for Every School

Published on October 10th, 2012 | by

Colorful and chaotic houses on the banks of the Ganges River in India

Last week, India’s highest court ruled that toilets and drinking water must be available in every school in India, both public and private.

Earlier in the year, the Right to Education Forum showed that one in ten schools has no drinking water and four in ten do not have toilets.

In 2010, India began providing free education for every child between the ages of six and fourteen.  However, the court found that parents are reluctant to send their children, especially daughters, to schools where facilities are unsanitary.  The court said in their opinion that the state must provide “toilet facilities for boys and girls, drinking water facilities, sufficient classrooms, appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff et cetera, if not already provided, within six months” and that the lack of these “clearly violate the right to free and compulsory education of children”.

Child labor is still rampant in India, but the hopes are that free education and good facilities will encourage parents to send their children to school.  India is already known for its growing tech sector and has excellent prospects for other sectors as well.  Perhaps this should be incorporated into India’s National Water Policy.

Colorful and chaotic houses on the banks of the Ganges River in India photo via Shutterstock

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