Saturday, September 20, 2014

Taking ill at EMRS-Swayem

Three students of Eklavya Model Residential School at Swayem in North Sikkim suffering from diahorrea and vomiting had to be admitted to the district hospital at Mangan last week. As many as 25 students were said to be suffering from the same symptoms. The incident also led to DC North TN Kazi dismissing classes for students of classes up to class VIII till 22 September.
While the students blamed fried rice served for breakfast in the hostel as the possible cause, the guardians alleged unhygienic conditions in the hostel and unsafe drinking water to be the reason. The school authorities had their own speculations of children having eaten something outside the campus.
The incident, however, has brought to light various other problems and needs of the school; from lack of funds, lack of even a Principal, lack of communication and coordination between the school authorities and guardians to the need for a proper sewerage system.
The sewerage line under the kitchen is informed to be leaking and hence posing is a major hygiene concern.
Following the incident, Deputy Speaker Sonam Gyatso Lepcha who is also chairman of the School Managing Board visited the school and inspected both the boys and girls hostels.
He directed that the sewerage system be repaired and announced that school will soon get a Principal, an administrative requirement to iron out management wrinkles.
Deputy Director Social Welfare Department North, Norden Lepcha [the school operates under Social Welfare funding], has said that the drinking water supply line to the school has been connected directly without a filtering tank which should not be the case.
Also, the School in-charge, Diki Doma Bhutia said that due to the lack of a stationery shop in the vicinity of the school, students have to travel some distance to buy stationery items. She pointed out the possibility of students eating junk food on such occasions which could have caused the illness.
Dr. Dichen Ongmu Bhutia, MO Phodong PHC, under whose jurisdiction the school falls confirmed that the students had taken ill with water borne diseases and advised for the provision of water filters for hostel and also suggested maintenance of proper hygiene in the campus and clean urinals.
As of now, the school has been provided two water purifiers and classes upto VIII will resume on 22 September. However, classes for IX & X are continuing as only students of class VIII and below had taken ill.
The school is yet to get a filtering tank for its drinking water supply line.

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