Today I am going to talk dirty.
Today I am going to talk about something natural.
About something that our bodies crave for every day.
And god forbid, if we do not let nature take its intended course then things tend to get very painful and messy.
Today’s post is about dirty things – a dirty reality we conveniently choose to ignore. A reality which exists right parallel to our almost perfect lives and yet is not so loudly the cause of concern for many social empowerment groups. The problems that cripple our country are infinite – illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, crime, redundant and orthodox mind-sets – and most reformers, very rightly, are of the opinion that the problems are circular in nature i.e they have no singular point of origin.
But, I am of the belief that if reform has to take place at the individual level then it can take place only when each one of us starts valuing ourselves. The dignity attached to human life is shockingly pathetic in India. A fact which is reflected in the daily practices of the many millions – India still has 597 million people defecating in the open. The reason is fairly obvious – lack of clean safe and individual alternatives. Though a prevalent practice in the rural areas it is fast becoming a health menace in over populated areas – open defecation is the leading cause for diarrhea deaths in children below the age of 5. Other diseases that it causes are intestinal worm infections, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis and polio, It can also lead to malnutrition and stunted growth in children.
The Prime Minister of India has recently launched a clean India campaign – an initiative for a cleaner and healthier country. But India had its first clean India movement launched way back in the early 1900’s when Gandhiji began the struggle for India’s independence from the British Raj. Gandhiji’s focal areas of reform were – upliftment of the oppressed classes, self – sustainability and women empowerment. He also stressed on the importance of cleanliness and set an example for the status conscious Indians by cleaning his own private chambers. It is no secret that Gandhiji was of the opinion that sanitation is more important than independence.
The one thing which we can and must learn from the West is the science of municipal sanitation. The peoples of the West have evolved a science of corporate sanitation and hygiene from which we have much to learn. We must modify western methods of sanitation to suit our requirements. -MK Gandhi,Young India
The practice of open defecation is not only a direct assault on the dignity of a human being – imagine doing it under the sky in the open in broad daylight every time nature calls; it is also intricately tied to the social standing and freedom of women. Open defecation grounds become easy rape-spots. Girls drop out of secondary education (once puberty sets in) due to the lack of proper sanitation facilities. Men may still go to the open areas as and when they please but women have to do in the cover of the night or early dawn – and that is absolutely no way to lead a life – it is a state of existence worse than animals.
The issue at hand is grave. And though a lot is being done to contain it, that lot is not enough – it requires rewiring of core mind-sets and practices at the primal level and establishment and maintenance of sanitary provisions at the other. The rest of us can do our bit too and it becomes almost obligatory to do so – no one should live in such a way, absolutely no one. It becomes imperative that we take steps for the future of our country – its children and its women.
A recent initiative in this regard has been taken by Domex, HUL’s flagship sanitation brand to help make villages ‘open-defecation’ free. They have adopted an all inclusive strategy for this pertinent social reform – the “You Click Domex Contributes” initiative of which you too can be a part of by clicking here.
You too 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” here and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids, men and women live a dignified life. It is that simple really.
Domex, HUL’s flagship sanitation brand, currently runs the Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) programme. Domex Toilet Academy was launched on 19th November 2013. It aims to become a sustainable and long-term solution to provide sanitation that benefits the local community and helps stimulate the local economy. The Toilet Academy makes toilets accessible and affordable, while promoting the benefits of clean toilets & good hygiene.Their effort has resulted in bringing the change in the villages of Maharashtra and Orissa and they aim to build 24000 toilets by 2015 in rural areas faced with the problem of open defecation.
All the images used in this post have been taken from the very generous free-sharing-open-source-kind-of-market that we have on the world wide web. For my take on this kind of sharing, if you are interested please read – this.
Image 1 – Link