India

Madhya Pradesh college turns toilet into storeroom, leaves girls helpless

18 Sep 2017 | By Sneha Bengani

An undergraduate college in Madhya Pradesh's Panna district has put at stake the health and safety of its 450 girl students by converting its only washroom into a storeroom.

The girls are forced to defecate and urinate either in the open or in a small roofless room near the college building that serves as a temporary makeshift toilet.

In context: No toilet for girls in this MP college

18 Sep 2017Madhya Pradesh college turns toilet into storeroom, leaves girls helpless

Women safetyGirls prefer to go out, says college principal

According to college principal AK Singh, the four-room college building has no space. And so about a year ago, the girls' washroom was converted into a storeroom. He said he had informed his superiors about the problems of the students and the staff.

He also said that despite being asked to use the staff room toilet, the girls "prefer to go out".

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Boys follow us, complain girl students

UnsafeBoys follow us, complain girl students

Meanwhile, the girls worry for their safety. "We have to go out to relieve ourselves in groups because boys follow us," said Vinita, a first-year student. Another said she felt helpless as there wasn't much she could do.

However, minister in-charge of the district, Lalita Yadav, said the situation would not be tolerated and a toilet would be built for the girls at the earliest.

50% adolescent girls in India have no access to sanitation

According to a 2016 report on sanitation facilities available to Indian women by philanthropy foundation Dasra and Bank of America, over 50% of adolescent girls in India have no access to sanitation facilities, with 63 million of them lacking access to even a private toilet.