While the Assam government is enthusiastically implementing its ‘Smart Classroom’ initiative across the state, Topcem Cement has transformed a classroom of a government school in Guwahati into a ‘toilet’.

Topcem Cement, a major cement brand of Meghalaya, on January 28, as part of its CSR programme, supported the construction of a toilet block at Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary & Multipurpose School in Guwahati.

The construction of the toilet block by Topcem Cement was under an initiative of the Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit.

Anil Kapur, President of Meghalaya Cements Ltd, the producer of the Topcem Cement brand, inaugurated the toilet block in the presence of senior members of Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit.

Surprisingly, Topcem Cement constructed the toilet block in a classroom (Room No 12) of Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School.

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It was more surprising to see that Topcem Cement constructed the toilet block in the middle of the academic block of the prestigious school in Guwahati.

Moreover, it was obvious that Topcem Cement tried to earn some brownie points in the name of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by constructing the toilet block in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School in Guwahati.

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Topcem Cement, which is an enterprise of the Lohia Group, headed by Kailash Chandra Lohia, could have spent more money to construct a brand new toilet complex in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School.

Instead, the Topcem Cement management, constructed the toilet block inside the 40-year-old Assam-type classroom by erecting three separating walls, which were only six feet high.

Buli Gogoi, Inspector of Schools of Kamrup (Metro) told Northeast Now that she did not know that a classroom in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School was converted into a toilet.

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“I don’t know why it was done, it was probably decided by the management of the school,” Gogoi said, adding that the Education Department in Assam has been trying its best to set up Smart Classrooms.

According to the official website of Assam Education Department, there are 103 Smart Classrooms in 84 schools in the state.

Abhishek Chakraborty, assistant general manager (AGM) of Topcem Cement, who looks after branding of the company, said, “We are not responsible for it. Everything was done by the Rotary Club.”

Though Chakraborty tried to pass on the blame to the Rotary Club, it is clearly written on the plaque of the toilet complex that it was constructed by Meghalaya Cements Ltd.

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