These unsanitary conditions are aggravated by the heaps of garbage lying around the campus, generating a foul smell

Why these Hyderabad students dont go to college during their periodsA Screenshot from the video
news Toilets Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 21:26

Students in a Hyderabad college haven’t dropped out, they just miss classes for a few days every month when they get their periods. Their college building simply has no functional toilets.

There are three toilets for over 400 students studying in Smt Durgabai Deshmukh Women's Technical Training Institute in the Ameerpet area of Hyderabad. They are not cleaned, rendering them useless and forcing the students to utilise unused classrooms to urinate. Urinating during menstruation is simply not an option. Besides the lack of clean, functional toilets, the college also does not have drinking water and labs.

A video shows the unused classrooms that students use as a toilet in case of emergencies. If not these unused classrooms, the students relieve themselves in college grounds or on the terrace, with fellow students holding a dupatta as a screen. When possible though, the students simply hold it in, causing several of them to fall sick.

A distraught father told The News Minute that he could ill-afford the medical expenses the family had incurred.

“There are no toilets, no drinking water in our daughters’ college. All the students and parents are suffering due to lack of toilets in the college. We are poor. In fact, most of the students are poor. We can't afford the medical expenses. Our daughters are getting sick due to negligence of college authorities,” 47-year-old Prakash (name changed) said.

He said that whenever they attempted to get the college authorities to remedy the situation, they were fobbed off with excuses.

“They said they were building a new building which would have all amenities. We are really angry with the horrible and untidy conditions in the college. My daughter is already ill and we had to spend around Rs 30,000 for her medical expenses,” he said.

He disconnected the call after that. Attempts to reach students went in vain as they were too scared of the college authorities, who have allegedly threatened to fail them in their exams if they spoke to the media.

For the last 10 years, ex-professor M Nagaraj has been writing to every government department and all the way up to the Chief Minister’s Office, trying to get the government to sanction more toilets for the students. His attempts to get the officials to act while he was a teacher at the college in the department of architecture went in vain. He has been trying, even after he retired six years ago.

Nagaraj last wrote to the chief minister in November 2015. Fed up with government apathy, he approached the media, which reported on the situation in the polytechnic on Wednesday.

“The situation of the students is pathetic. They are too scared to drink water before going to college and while they are in college. They are students from poor families, they cannot afford huge medical expenses. Imagine sitting in a class which they are using as a toilet and during the periods they don't go to college for two or three days because they don't have a place where they can change sanitary napkins. At least basic needs should be provided to them.”

These unsanitary conditions are aggravated by the heaps of garbage lying around the campus, generating a foul smell.

Sravan Dasoj, Congress spokesperson told The News Minute, “It is a shame that even after so many years of Independence educational institutions, that too girls’ colleges, are run without toilet facilities and other basic amenities.”

He added: It is time that the Telangana government ‘Walk the talk rather than confining itself to mere ‘talk the walk’.”

Referring to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s slogan of a golden Telangana, Dasoj said: “Bangaru Telangana should include these vital issues not just skyscrapers and flyovers etc.”

However, upon being asked what action the government took when the Congress was in power before the bifurcation of AP, Dasoj said: “I am not aware if anyone approached the Congress in the last five years. There was virtually no governance due to the Telangana movement and what happened in united Andhra Pradesh need not continue to happen in Telangana.”

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