The world so advanced in science and technology lives with many of its imperfections. But not all imperfections have equally telling impacts on the future of mankind. Apart from the arms race which is a specialised area of science and technology, a gross imperfection concerns the health and hygiene of the future generations in the shape of non-existence of provision for clean water, toilets and hand washing facilities in schools. Reportedly almost half the schools in the world have no safe drinking water, toilet and hand-washing facilities. Involved here are biological needs without which it is impossible for the young learners to lead a healthy and decent life. The figure of the affected students is a staggering total of 900 million. Schools without toilets come to a third of the world total. In this age of advanced health and medical science, this proves to be a slap on the face of human civilisation.
Not only is this embarrassing but also shocking because without these basic requirements schooling becomes a difficult exercise. And who are forced to do away with these amenities? None other than those who are taking education for improving their and their fellow human beings' lives so that they can take over from the old guard. The main reason for this lacking is inadequate fund but this is certainly not the only impediment. Society's attitude towards health and hygiene has a lot to do in this regard. Certainly the parents and guardians love their children and wards. But unless they are aware of the need for such basic requirements as safe drinking water, toilet and hand washing facilities in educational institutions where they spend five to six hours, the provisions are left ignored. Societies where charity begins at home do not overlook such omissions in schools and hence educational infrastructure cannot be complete without these and other facilities for sports and games.
Part of culture and tradition, maintenance of healthy and hygienic practices depends not only on resources alone but also on the urgency of living a better life. Education usually teaches subjects of academic interests but devoid of practical knowledge of real life, there remains a yawning gap. In a situation like this culture fails to flourish. It is because of this even the premier university of this country and many reputed schools and colleges in the capital have deplorable records of toilet facilities. It compels students, particularly girls among them, to develop some unhealthy habits such as no drinking of water lest they have to use the unclean and stinking toilets. Where there are no toilets, adolescent girls even have to miss classes for some days each month.
The world thus proves to be grossly imperfect when it cannot provide for a healthy environment for all its school children. It spends huge amounts on defence but it has no budget for immunity against diseases that are preventable simply following a few health rules. Educational institutions which have no toilets, facilities for safe drinking water and arrangement for cleaning hands are depriving their students of the basic health rules. This lacking can be overcome by collective initiatives from the government, society and school authorities.
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