Thanks to a government scheme, many primary and high schools in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district now have installed water purifiers. For many village schools, however, the purifiers are of no use because they don’t have a water supply system.
The scheme is part of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the government’s ‘Education for All’ Movement, that is being implemented in a majority of 1,721 primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools in the district. The allocation for primary schools is Rs. 5,000 [US$ 109], Rs. 12,000 [US$ 262] for middle and Rs. 7,000 [US$ 153] for both high and higher secondary schools were sanctioned. In addition each school gets Rs. 5,000 [US$ 109] per year for maintenance.
While many schools had been prompt in maintaining the water purifiers, a few schools had neither bought nor maintained them properly. A middle school in Kondalampatti had the purifier but did not have the provision for water supply to the school itself.
A school teacher said that the scheme, though laudable, could not be implemented totally in schools in villages since many of them did not have basic amenities such as water supply.
Source: The Hindu, 26 Nov 2010