UN report: India making rapid progress in increasing access to sanitation in schools

The report said that a recent survey in India also collected information on the availability of facilities for menstrual hygiene management. The proportion of schools with bins with lids for the disposal of sanitary materials varies widely across states in India, from 98 percent in Chandigarh to 36 percent in Chhattisgarh.

Mizoram is the only state where more than 50 percent of schools have a functional incinerator for the disposal of sanitary waste.

It said the Government of India issued national guidelines on menstrual hygiene management in 2015 but a survey in 2016-2017 showed that only two-thirds of schools in India provide menstrual hygiene education with wide variations between states.

The report further said that millions of children globally are going to school without basic hygiene facilities, and the goal of universal access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene remains “a huge challenge”.

Over 30 percent of schools worldwide do not provide safe drinking water; a third of schools do not provide the most basic of toilet facilities (such as a septic tank, pit latrines or composting toilets); and nearly 900 million children go to schools with no handwashing facilities with soap and water.

It said children who pick up good hygiene habits at school can reinforce positive life-long behaviors in their homes and communities, says the report.

Global chief of water, sanitation, and hygiene at UNICEF Kelly Ann Naylor said that if education is the key to helping children escape poverty, access to water and sanitation is key to helping children safely maximize their education. “To neglect, this is to be careless with the well-being and health of children,” Naylor said.

Universal access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but achieving this ambitious target presents a huge challenge. The JMP has designed tools to make it easier to track progress across countries, towards a basic level of drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene service.