Muthingkhong GPS Sanitation Crisis Exposed by Polling Officer

Muthingkhong GPS Sanitation Crisis Exposed by Polling Officer

Thsakhongse A Sangtam, a veteran polling officer, recently revealed the shocking sanitation conditions at Muthingkhong Government Primary School (GPS) in Nagaland during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. His disclosures have triggered outrage and calls for immediate action from the government and education authorities.

Makeshift Toilet in the Jungle

Sangtam, a member of the Sangtam Naga tribe from Kiphire District, shared a video on WhatsApp exposing the school’s lack of proper toilet and washroom facilities. The situation was so severe that village residents had to build a temporary toilet in the nearby jungle for the polling officials.

Despite having served as a polling officer five times, Sangtam described this experience as the worst he had faced. He made a heartfelt appeal to the Nagaland government, district administration, and school education department to address the issue and improve the school’s condition, specifically requesting the construction of a small bathroom for the students.

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Concerns Over Voting Machine Safety

Other polling officers raised concerns about the safety of voting machines and materials, as the school building was inadequate to protect them from rain. The Muthingkhong GPS, located under the 60/42 AC Pungro-Kiphire Constituency in eastern Nagaland, was one of the many polling stations set up despite the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) announcing a boycott of the elections.

Impact on Students’ Health and Education

The absence of proper sanitation facilities in schools can have serious effects on students’ health, attendance, and academic performance. Girls, in particular, are more likely to miss school due to the lack of suitable toilets and menstrual hygiene management facilities.

The Indian government has initiated programmes such as the School Sanitation and Hygiene Education programme and Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya to improve WASH facilities in schools. However, many schools across the country still lack adequate infrastructure, emphasising the need for more focused efforts to tackle this critical issue.

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Call for Swift Action

Sangtam’s revelations act as an urgent reminder for authorities to prioritise the provision of basic amenities in schools, ensuring that every child has access to a safe and healthy learning environment.

The government must take immediate action to upgrade sanitation facilities in schools, especially in rural and underserved areas, to protect the well-being and future of India’s children.

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The deplorable sanitation conditions at Muthingkhong GPS highlight the stark reality faced by many students in Nagaland and across India. It is crucial that the government, education authorities, and local communities work together to address this pressing issue and provide schools with the necessary resources to create a conducive learning environment for all students.

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