Toilet for Babli - A Big Salute To The Initiative By Domex

Source: Freepik
It was the recent Narendra Modi's visit to US, I learnt that more than 72% of people in rural India relieve themselves in roadsides or by fields or in bushes. New research by National sample survey office also revealed only 32% of households in rural India have their own toilets. Even today in many hollywood movies, India is shown as an outlier with inadequate progress in sanitation. 

Health of many Indians are impaired because of poor sanitation also leading to productivity losses and high rates of malnutrition. In these cases, children aged below 10 years are more affected than adults. The spread of diseases due to poor sanitation inhibits a child's ability to absorb nutrients and in turn stunting their growth. 

I also learnt the child malnutrition rate in India exceed those of sub-saharan Africa. Poor health of women leading to a very proportion of babies being born with low weight, sort of explains this phenomenon. The point to be noted here is, the states such as Jharkhand, Bihar and MP which has the highest level of population density & really bad levels of sanitation, also has the highest level of child malnutrition in India. That's definitely not a coincidence. 

India is known for historically neglecting public health services. Who's to be blamed here? Corrupt politicians or less qualified government officials or people ourselves? While India is known for some break through innovations in medical technology, it has done very little to provide appropriate public health services to the people of this country, considering the latter is much more cost effective. Take it or not, most of our children grow in a very unhygienic environment leading to higher malnutrition rates. 

Annual deaths of about 2,00,000 children below 4 years in India is caused by only water borne diarrhoeal diseases, according to a data survey by Lancet. We've always been extremely focused on interventions rather than prevention. Point to be considered again, India is one of the very few countries in Asia, to have never invested a large sum involving vector control, water diseases & management, health regulations and sanitation systems. We also have been living under misconceptions thinking provision of additional food in a disease prone environment is likely to reduce malnutrition growth rates in the country. 

We've had a quite a few break through economic booms but have done very little to reduce the child malnutrition rate. Precisely this is a very sensitive subject and there has been very less awareness. 

I'm now quite happy that people are coming forward to improve the sanitation system in our country. Our PM's vision to have more toilets than temples, and companies like TCS contributing 100 crore to PM's clean India vision are some the few things to be appreciated. 

I also salute the initiative by Domex which aims at making villages 'open defecation' free. Join with Domex in their new initiative -

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