"Our toilets are so dirty, we need to relieve ourselves in the open," said Anshika, a bright, young student of Kanwari Mustakam elementary school of Basti district, in Uttar Pradesh. Just like Anshika, more than 100 other students of this school, both boys and girls, had to relieve themselves in the nearby farms because of the unhygienic conditions of the toilets. "Our toilets were broken since five months. No one had come to clean these toilets," Anshika had complained to our community correspondent Vinay Kumar from Uttar Pradesh.
The headmistress of the school, Chandrakala had tried on various instances to approach various administrative officials to resolve the issues, but her requests were met with hollow promises.
"The nearby residents come and use these toilets. I had requested that at least one door be fixed so that the children have at least one clean toilet. The officials promised to look into the matter but never came to resolve the issue," Chandrakala had told Vinay. Due to lack of access to toilets, 23% of girls in India drop out of school upon reaching puberty.
With his mindset to resolve the community's problem and provide them hygienic educational facilities, Vinay made an issue video. Vinay met with the concerned officials, showed them the situation of students through his video. Today, due to Vinay's persistence, the students of Kanwari Mustakam elementary school get access to a clean bathroom.
While speaking about his work as a community correspondent, Vinay said: "I want to continue using the visual media as a tool to raise community-based issues with the hope that their problems continue to get resolved with my help."
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Vinay Kumar Sharma.
Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.
Strong winds accompanied by heavy rains flattened all of the standing crops.