Students learn cleanliness lesson hard way

Students learn cleanliness lesson hard way

 ‘Health is wealth’, students repeat after their teacher. Class teacher Kauser Jahan is teaching them the values of cleanliness. “Clean school premises will keep our minds fresh and help study better,” she says with exasperation.

But the heaps of garbage outside the school compound or the drainage leaking right through the school playground, the stench from the adjacent public toilet and rodents scampering about on the school premises do not exactly measure up to the values she’s been teaching. Students at the Government Urdu Higher Primary School in Shivajinagar are forced to study in the squalid atmosphere every day.

The question of hygiene looms large over the school with the garbage piling up over the past week. Everybody wants to avoid the school junction, right in the heart of the City, where the stench is nauseating. “The result of this garbage heap in front of the school is there for us to see,” principal Shahida Begum told Deccan Herald. Many students have caught fever and have stopped attending classes. Others attending classes are complaining of nausea and giddiness. “I just now sent a student home because she complained of giddiness and nausea,” Kauser Jahan added. Teachers too complained of headache and nausea.

The students’ dining room overlooks that side of the road where garbage has piled up. On the other side of the room is the public toilet, entrance to which has now been blocked by a garbage mound. People relieve themselves in front of the school compound. Leaks have developed in two of the classrooms and the dining room due to the constant overflowing of the drain and heavy rain on Thursday. Making things worse is the foul odour of garbage that has invaded the entire premises. Dampness seeping into the walls of these rooms, students are forced to have their lunch seated on the floor in the middle of the room, where it is relatively dry.

“It hurts us to see children eating amid the stench. We have no choice as our complaints have fallen on deaf ears,” said the school ayah. They have repeatedly complained about the situation to local leaders, but the problem persists.

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