Forced to drink contaminated water, 145 children at Chhattisgarh school fall sick

Raigarh, Chhattisgarh: A total of 120 children of Navodaya Vidyalaya at Bhupdevpur in Raigarh were sent back home since Friday after viral fever and typhoid gripped the students. The number of children with viral fever has reached 145.

On Sunday alone, 25 children fell sick and a temporary health camp was organised for them. Family members of most of the ailing children have already taken them home. The parents and children are worried as not many days are left for the finals and board examinations.

Water tanks are not cleaned, say students

After the outbreak of viral and typhoid fever, Bhaskar team reached school campus on Sunday. The children said that water tanks are not cleaned and they are forced to drink contaminated water. The unsafe water is used in cooking and cleaning. It is believed that this led to the infection.

Bathrooms, toilets are dirty

The residential school has 540 students who live in 12 houses. But the bathrooms and toilets are very dirty. The health of the children started to deteriorate on January 25.

30 children live in one room

Many guardians told Bhaskar that their children are not safe at the school. They said they had complained about dirty water many times but no one took notice. The food and water is not good. Up to 30 children are forced to live in a single room. In the girls’ house, three children have to sleep on one bed. The windows’ lattice is broken, so mosquitoes enter the rooms. There and cracks on the roof.

No maintenance

No painting or maintenance of the building has been done ever since the school was established. Half of the windows and doors of the school are missing. There is filth all around. There is lack of ventilation in the rooms where students live. The principal said no funds have been provided for the maintenance of the school.

Management blames weather

The school management said children have fallen ill due to the change in weather. Principal Jairam Nayak said a temporary camp had been organised. Once the weather clears, the children will be fine, he added.