By Hirra Azmat
Srinagar, Jun 05: The lack of toilets in government offices in Kashmir is causing inconveniences to female employees, with them now raising the issue with the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti.
An official said the female employees complained several times about the lack of toilets.
“There shall be separate lavatories for females in government offices. The lack of toilets is causing inconvenience to the women,” a female employee at DC office Srinagar said, wishing not to be quoted by name.
Another employee in the School Education Department said: “People suffering from diabetes have to answer nature’s call frequently. They are thus the worst sufferers.”
Senior employees’ leader, Abdul Qayoom Wani said the government should build separate washrooms for female employees.
“This issue has already been raised with the government,” Wani said.
Recently, the female employees had an interaction with the Chief Minister where they raised the issue that “proper segregated toilets facilities for female employees in the offices are not available”.
Subsequently, several departments were directed to construct separate toilets for their female staff.
Rural Development Department has issued an order asking its officials to issue instructions to BDOs and DPOs to prepare district plans for government offices to build toilets for female employees.
As per the data of the state’s Unified District Information System for Education survey, there are around 6,351 schools lacking toilets for girls and 8,098 without lavatories for boys.
More than 71 per cent schools do not even have basins or taps to wash hands near toilets or urinals.
There are around 28,000 government schools in J&K, as per the survey.
The lack of toilets in government offices is in contrary to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014, aiming to make India “open defecation free” by 2019. The scheme has been divided into two parts- Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin and the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban.
The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has found J&K one among the worst performing states in India in implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission for rural in the last three years.