About Us

 

 

BACKGROUND

Many of us NRIs, who came out of India several decades ago have seen some positive transformation in India and Indian image internationally. India, in the mind of westerners is no more a remote corner of the world, where its extremely poor people only know to charm the snakes, perform black magic and eat monkey brain, as depicted in the Indiana Jones movies.

We have seen the change in technology and do not have to wait a long time to make a ‘trunk call’ to our families. Most of us have not written an ‘aerogram’ for many years.

With all these great achievements, it is sad to see that it has lagged behind in the field of sanitation and hygiene. In some ways it has gone backwards.

India is still struggling with infectious diseases like diarrhea, tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid and encephalitis etc. These diseases have long been eradicated in the west. Although Indians care a lot about personal hygiene, they are indifferent about the filth around their homes. This breeds mosquitos, flies and pollutes the drinking water.

We need to educate all that dirty surroundings bring back disease to their homes through flies, mosquitos and water. Also most rich Indian households employ servants. These poor people live in impoverished neighbourhoods and suffer from diseases like worms and tuberculosis. It is one important way or transmission of disease in the rich household, where the servants cook food and go to the bedrooms to clean. Same story stands with the cooks and workers of five star restaurants. This is how foreign tourists sometimes get infected.
People do not realize that merely keeping inside homes is not enough and they cannot insulate themselves from diseases, if the surroundings are dirty. In India it is not uncommon to see a very posh skyscraper that is surrounded by shanty towns, where the servants live.

Unless the masses realize that dirty surroundings are the cause of majority of diseases in their families, they will not use toilets, continue to throw un bagged garbage outside their homes and spit , defecate and urinate here and there.

Using plastic shopping bags to bag household garbage is a cheap and effective way to prevent it from breeding flies/mosquito, prevent their seepage in the ground water and pollution of air. This is how the west is so clean. No harm in learning good things from others. We are seeing movement in India to ban these bags. We should educate people to instead use it to bag their garbage and not thrown them empty.
 

India has always had open-air defecation, urination, and public spitting. Even though the country has made strides in many areas, some basic cleanliness practices are not known there. There is no concept of bagging one’s garbage—even in rich households. Littering is accepted in public places. Compounded with the population boom of the country (especially the cities), the result is a slum-like condition for the whole country. Whenever the Indian government agencies attempt a beautification project, it is based on employing many sanitation workers. The basic problem, however, that creates the trash is peoples attitude, and it is that attitude we wish to address and change.

Our aim is to improve the cleanliness and hygiene in India though education. Also, to participate in the cleaning (chip in) yourself. We need to emphasize that cleanliness is responsibility of all, not just that of servants and cleaners. We need to start small. Concentrate only on hygiene and not on total health. There are scores of nonprofit hospitals and organizations focusing on health part but there are hardly any dedicated to hygiene and sanitation.

The following areas will be focused on:

Littering: using trash bins
Bagging garbage
Spitting in proper bins, either trash bins or spit bins
Safe food handling: shop keepers using gloves when handling food
Covering food on venders’ stalls and keeping food away from open drains
Educating public on the vector born diseases, like fly and mosquito causing diarrhea and malaria
Educating people on feco-oral contamination and how they unknowingly end up eating feces
How spitting spreads germs in the air and spreads tuberculosis etc.
Stopping open urination and defecation
Reducing puddle and filthy area in vicinity, to decrease the vector population (mosquitoes and flies)

We will start in places where it will be easier to educate and implement these ideas. This means we will start in places that have educated and slightly well off residents. This group may be more receptive and may not mind spending money on trash bags, etc. schools, factories, banks and offices are examples of such places. The main barrier will be making the Indian people realize that there is a problem. Also, we should not expect them to put too much effort (financial or time wise) into it. Let us not forget that we are talking about one of the oldest cultures in the world, and the current practice have been a part of that culture. On top of that, this population is not small, it constitutes one sixth of the world population

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