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Sanitation and Hygiene issues in India

12th April 2011
By TKF Online in Business Law
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India is fast becoming a lead player in the global economy and in order to make most of it, India does need to pay due attention to its Sanitation and Hygiene issues present within it as quickly as possible.

As per studies conducted in 2008, only 31 percent of Indian have access and use better sanitation facilities while 21 percent of rural population has access to the same. At the same time more than 50 percent of its population defecates in the open, the negative effects could be simply noticed in the general health conditions of the people. At the same time men have more access to toilets while women have to search for alternative areas for the same.

Though the condition of drinking water supply has improved considerably only 88% of the population has access to it. Similarly it can be stated the water available within households is a comfort for just one quarter of the total population. The collection of drinking water and making it available within the home is the primary responsibility of the women while a negligible percentage of men venture out to collect water for their home. The drinking water supplied in India is contaminated either with chemicals or through bacteria and hence needs to be treated upon which is not done by more than 50% of the households.

Hygiene is one factor which has been neglected at the grass root level for various reasons ranging from illiteracy, lack of awareness or even lethargy on account of people to stay clean. Studies have revealed that just 53 per cent of the population wash hands with soap after defecation, around 40 per cent wash hands with soap before eating and less than 50 per cent wash hands with soap before preparing meals. Under such conditions it is not surprising to find a large number of people suffering from diarrhea and other gastro intestinal disorders.

90% of the rural population does not dispose child stools in a safe and prescribed manner for most of them are left open or thrown in the garbage. Very young children below the age of 5 years do not use toilets for defacing.

Proper education and training is required to be given in sanitation. The need of the hour is educate the people in how to remain clean and neat. They should be made aware that washing hands with soap, treating drinking water and cleaning as well as maintaining our surrounding areas, the occurrence of diarrhea and pneumonia can be greatly reduced.

The need of the hour is to educate and create awareness amongst the women and public health service providers to maintain utmost hygiene and sanitary conditions whenever they attend to their family and patients respectively. This is one of the primary factors which reduce the incidence of diseases which occur around them.

Schools, garden and other public areas should be equipped with public toilets and adequate running water facilities as well. These conditions are pre requisites when older girls or women frequently access the premise for it helps them to stay neat and hygienic at all times.

The other area of key importance is treatment of drinking water which is contaminated on account of presences of chemicals such as arsenic and fluoride which could greatly affect the heath of the people leading to serious diseases. This issue can be tackled by implementing suitable water quality testing methods and adopting apt solutions

Sanitation and Hygiene issues in India have to be tackled effectively and on an urgent basis only then India can make the best of its economic prosperity and progress. It is time the Government of India and nongovernmental organizations join work together and tackle this issue on a war footing.

If you have time, you can offer your support for specific NGO projects in India on TKF online. By donating for education you can make a large difference in someone’s life.
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