India has been a victim of poor sanitation for ages. In a developing country like India, people are constantly shifting from small villages to towns and cities in search of better job opportunities and in a hope to lead a better life. As a result the cities and towns are getting more and more congested. Adding to it, scarcity of drinking water and poor sanitation go hand in hand. The scenario in rural areas of our country is not very different.
Proper hygiene and sanitation is the key to good health. In our day-to-day life too, hygiene and sanitation plays a major role in our well-being. In a family, all the members are equally responsible to take care of each other and the home they live in. In a report by The Hindu, more than 80% of the villages in India do not have access to basic sewage system for disposal of waste. More than 600 million people in India do not have access to toilets in their home or locality. A large number of people in rural areas defecate in the open. Another survey conducted in major cities of India found that more than 50% of these cities do not have access to proper water supply in their houses. The situation is getting worse with the rise in population each year
Sanitation means following hygienic means to prevent hazards that can affect our health. To maintain hygiene at home, we must have access to basic sanitation. Basic sanitation means proper ways to dispose and manage human waste and excreta through proper drainage system. As an individual we must make sure that our house and every other house in our locality has a toilet and every person using it is taking care of basic hygiene like washing hands with soap, using clean water in toilet, keeping the toilet clean by spraying disinfectants etc. We must also make sure that the water we drink is not contaminated and free of germs. In a developing country like India, more than half of the population do not get access to water and a large part of those who have access to water, do not get clean water. Thus, people cannot put such water to better uses other than washing and cleaning purposes. Using water filters or purifiers is the only option to purify contaminated water. In rural areas where people cannot afford water filters, rely on boiling water. Unfortunately more than 3/4th of rural population are unaware of the benefits of drinking boiled water or don’t have access to gas or stoves to do so.
In families where there are small children, proper sanitation and maintaining good hygiene is must for their growth and development. We must also make sure that our children get access to clean drinking water not only in their home but also in the school they go to. We must also see that every school in the locality have toilets and water filters. Without these hygienic practices, anybody may fall sick. More than 1000 children dies each year due to water-borne and sanitation related diseases like diarrhoea. In rural areas there have been cases of stunted child growth due to poor sanitation and shortage of clean drinking water. People in rural areas must be made aware about the need of proper hygiene and sanitation. Defecating in the open is not only harmful for the person practicing it but is also harmful for the locality where it takes place. Usually people living in slums defecate near railway tracks and live nearby those areas as well. Rural people should be encouraged to build toilets in their home, consume clean water and practice basic hygiene in their day-to-day life.
On the national level too, proper sanitation will bring good health and generate economic growth for the country as there will be reduction in cost catering to health issues. A part of the money could be used to build toilets across the country and waste water treatment tanks in rural and urban areas to prevent sewage overflow. NDTV has come up with this wonderful initiative to make India a cleaner and better place to live in. Know more about it at http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/ and support for the cause. Let’s make India a better place to live in, for us and for our future generations too!
This post is a part of the #SwachhIndia contest by Indiblogger.