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Poor Menstrual Hygiene Management Facilities, Unclean Toilets For Girl Students Is Denial Of Basic Human Rights: Bombay HC

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The need for clean and hygienic washrooms for girls is something that every school should prioritise. A girl spends half of her day in school and especially when she is on her periods, menstrual hygiene becomes of utmost importance. These points should be kept in mind by the school authority and taken into account. However, the condition of the washrooms in government-aided schools is still not improving. This issue has been raised on several occasions and recently a PIL was also filed before the Mumbai High Court to improve the condition of girls’ washrooms especially menstrual hygiene in government schools. The court in its remark has said that unclean toilets hamper a girl to live with dignity,

 The PIL was filed by a petitioner in Mumbai, and his case is being handled by Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud and Vinod Sangvikar. In the PIL, it has been clearly stated that the Government is not taking proper steps to maintain the menstrual hygiene of the girls in these schools. In this point, the advocates also highlighted that menstrual hygiene requires a continuous water supply, pad vending machines, and a proper way of disposing of the pads. As per the article, the petitioner observed that these necessities were not being provided and most of the government-aided washrooms had vending machines with no pads. As per the petitioner’s observations, toilet were not clean at all, and there was no proper way to dispose them as well. In the PIL the petitioner also highlighted that since there were no dustbins in the washroom the used pads were found lying around on the window or sides of the toilet, which is very unhygienic. The PIL also had some pictures attached to it.

This PIL was addressed by the Mumbai High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik. After taking a look at the pictures, they called the situation “distressing”. They further said that if the claims made by the petitioner stand true, the court shall direct the States to take a coordinated measure to preserve the girl’s right to live with dignity. For now, the court ordered the DSLA to take rounds of 15 government schools and submit a detailed report on the same before August 22, 2022. The bench also said that if proper basic hygiene facilities are not provided to girls, it becomes a denial of their human rights. 

Also Read: Menstrual Hygiene Day: Common Menstrual Hygiene Mistakes Women Make And How To Avoid Them, Expert Weighs In

The matter is serious and definitely to be addressed urgently. 

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