Our’s is a country where television and mobiles are given higher importance than health and hygiene. I sometimes wonder if India lacks money or awareness. More often it seems the latter.
In spite of several organizations coming forward to improve the sanitation facilities, more than 50% of Indian population lack a toilet. On this day, the World Toilet Day, November 19th, let us spread awareness regarding this issue as far and wide as possible. Most importantly, villages need an increased awareness today.
Here are a few facts from World Bank report, 2013 that you might have never associated with sanitation earlier:
1. Good Sanitation Helps Cognitive Development in Children: The report says that six-year old children, when introduced to good sanitation in the first years of their lives showed improved cognition to recognize alphabets and numbers than those who were not.
2. Improper Sanitation Results in Malnutrition: Around 48% of children in India suffer from malnutrition of some sort. It has been found that improved sanitation usage helps to reduce the risk of malnutrition.
3. Sanitation Prevents Diarrhoeal Diseases: Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the top causes for infant deaths in India. The World Bank report says washing hands with disinfectant after toileting and using a proper sanitation facility can decrease diarrhoea by 40% and pneumonia by 30%.
There are other reports which talk about how women who use open grounds for toileting face sexual harassment. In fact, several rape incidents do not seem to come to light because the victims face double embarrassment.
I am as surprised as you about the socio-economic status of half the citizens. With so much hype on urban development and rural improvement, it is unbelievable that our country has got to improve so much yet. I request all the young people of India sitting on the top floors of MNC buildings to think about the poor conditions of such people. Youth of today can form groups and visit villages to spread awareness. You can donate or offer a loan to people who are in need to construct toilets for their homes.
What more can we do than spreading awareness?
Indeed a lot more!
Participate in the “You Click Domex Contributes” initiative.
You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.
Domex helps in building toilets in many village of Maharashtra and Orissa. Ramoo Sahoo, a mother of three daughters in the village of Oshtopur, Orissa says constructing a toilet for their house has reduced mental pressure in the family. It was difficult at times to go to the open fields at nights earlier and also their medical expenses were not affordable. Now they are relieved from the stress of walking to the open fields at odd times and feel a sense of increased dignity and recognition in the community.