Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, on Thursday, March 18, told the Parliament that over 42,000 government schools across the country lack drinking water facility and more than 15,000 schools do not have toilets.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Pokhriyal quoted the statistics from Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE), reported The Hindu.
"10,41,327 government schools have drinking water facility out of 10,83,747, which is the total number of government schools in India, and only 10,68,726 government schools have toilets, according to UDISE, 2018-19," the Union minister said.
He added that the ministry has repeatedly advised States and UTs to ensure that all the schools, including the private, and aided schools, should have provision for separate toilets for boys and girls, and all children should have access to safe drinking water.
In India, The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 under Section 19 provides the norms and standards for a school. In accordance with the norms prescribed in the schedule of the RTE Act, 2009 and respective State RTE rules, it's the government's responsibility to provide school infrastructure, including drinking water facility and toilets in schools.
Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), across the country, the Central Government supports States and Union Territories (UTs) for the creation and augmentation of infrastructure facilities, including drinking water and toilet facilities in schools.
Based on the gap determined by Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) database and proposals received from States/UTs, the Ministry of Education annually sanctions funds for drinking water and toilet facilities in elementary schools under SSA and in secondary schools under RMSA to the States/UTs.