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Showing posts from February, 2017


On 2nd October 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, or Clean India Mission. The aim is to eliminate the practice of open defecation by October 2019 by constructing 12 million toilets in rural India. However, building sanitation facilities is not enough to stop open defecation. As well as the providing of sanitation facilities, it must be ensured that they are in working condition, they must be kept clean and maintained properly. Dirty facilities become unused facilities. That is why creating awareness and understanding among people of the importance of the use and maintenance of sanitation facilities is fundamental. If people do not understand the importance of having, using and maintaining clean toilets, there will not be a behaviour change. Maintenance and use of facilities are great challenges. Let us take the example of a public school of a village in Western Uttar Pradesh where recently new sanitation facilities have been built. Toilets a

First Experience In A Rural Village In Western Uttar Pradesh

FIRST EXPERIENCE IN A RURAL VILLAGE IN WESTERN UTTAR PRADESH ARE THEY DRINKING SAFE WATER? First day of internship at Heeals (NGO, Gurgaon, India), first day in rural India. The three and a half hours car trip doesn’t reflect at all the small distance on the map, from Gurgaon to Greater Noida. We just passed through a congested and noisy Monday morning Delhi, and after a while the landscape changes… Just passed through a tollbooth like if it was a time machine, which has zapped us in a new dimension, where nature and silence permeate everything. Lush green fields replacing polluted and dirty streets, no more cars, just shouting children, cows and sometimes a bullock cart. How could it be possible? We arrive at the village school and a group of 30 children, from 6 to 13 years old appears at the window grates, shy but still very excited. They are shouting “mam” (madam), trying to catch our attention, they want to know who we are and where are we coming from. First worried

Modi's Swachh Bharat Mission Has Built More Than 3 Crore New Toilets - But Few People Are Using Them!

India is known as the defecation capital of the world with 638 million people defecating in the open. People have more mobile phones and easier access to banks than toilets. More than half of the Indian population does not wash their hands after defecation, making respiratory and gastrointestinal infections major killers among children and adults alike. 66 % of girls’ schools do not have a functioning female toilet in India resulting in a dropout rate of more than 40% after completing just year five. Around 23 % of girls drop out of school every year in India due to lack of menstrual hygiene facilities including toilets. Building toilets in rural India was one of the major promises Prime Minister Narendra Modi made during his speech from the Red Fort ramparts in his first Independence Day address on 15 August, 2014.  The government has since moved with alacrity, claiming to have constructed around 3.36 crore countryside toilets across India under Modi’s ambitious Swachh

Lack of sanitation facilities puts high burden on women

New Delhi, Jan 31 () Stating that lack of access to sanitation facilities puts disproportionate burden on women and girls, including threat to life besides nutritional risks, the Economic Survey today pitched for ensuring toilets in each household. The pre-Budget Economic Survey 2016-17, tabled in  Parliament  today, also said to ensure safe and adequate sanitation, water security and hygiene -- the objectives of Swachh Bharat -- as part of a broader fundamental right to privacy for women is becoming a serious policy issue. Stating that there is 'disproportionate burden' on women in households without toilets, the survey said it take several forms such as "threat to life and safety while going out for open defecation, reduction in food and water intake practices to minimise the need to exit the home to use toilets, polluted water leading to women and children dying from childbirth- related infections, and a host of other impacts". Stressing the need for women