Proper hygiene and sanitation is the key to good health. A healthy body gives rise to healthy mind. If we do not take care of our hygiene and sanitation it may lead to a number of diseases. In my city, Kolkata, I come across a lot of families who live in footpath or in slums with poor hygiene and sanitation. They are yet to understand the necessity of good hygiene.
In many areas, men and women including small children defecate in the open. This leads to food and water borne diseases that may result fatal for infants and pregnant women. Many girls do not go to municipal schools due to lack of proper sanitation facilities. Implementing proper sanitation techniques in villages can also prevent wastage of water which is another major concern in low income settlements. Due to overpopulation in these areas and lack of proper pipelines or water facility people usually have to travel a long distance for water or end up consuming polluted water. In a recent survey, it is found out that most of the children in slums die due to diarrhoea which is caused mainly by poor sanitation. It is recommended to wash hands with soaps before having food or after defecating. Using filtered water, covering utensils in which food and water is kept ensures that they are not contaminated and safe to use.
Coco-Cola in association with TERI university and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the “Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings” initiative in Kolkata. The WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) program aims to reach out to 50,00 dwellers in marginal income settlements and over 300 professionals through WASH governance studies. It will also develop and implement its service to 2500 students in 20 municipal schools across India so that the future generation could get a proper environment to study.
Hopefully this initiative by Coco-Cola will help to eradicate the problem of sanitation and hygiene and water problems among poor people and provide them a better opportunity to live in.