Monday, November 17, 2014

Let's disinfect Bharat....

Let me be very honest with this one, I actually have no other choice really. I did mention in one of my previous blog-posts that I have been closely associated with the cluster development programme with the Government of West Bengal; let’s dig further. It goes without saying that in this tenure, I have seen it all. As per the Government of India guidelines, the Micro, small and medium scale cluster development programme is directed towards “overall development” of a cluster including their skill up gradation, motivation, branding, packaging, marketing of the products as well as diversifying their existing production; but let me tell you something…one major aspect that is perhaps masked in the bigger scheme of things is the “health-care factor”. The training programmes are called “soft intervention” but then, there’s nothing “soft” in terms of upgrading their general standard of living, and by their standard of living, I mean remodeling the growth and development of the future generation.
Alright, let me give you a 'glowing example' then.

Date: 15th June 2014
Time: 3:02 PM
Venue: Sankrail, Howrah, West Bengal
Event: Soft Intervention training on product diversification.

Midway through the training, a middle aged gentleman stood up and raised his hand. When I asked him the reason for interrupting the training programme, he bluntly replied- “Sir, what’s the use of diversifying our products when our future generation won’t survive to use the imparted knowledge? Have you seen the quality of roads or the condition of sanitation in the Sankrail block?” I had to pause my demonstration, yes, I did read about the impecunious or rather the abysmal condition of Indian sanitation in the newspaper a couple of months back…almost 59.4 per cent of the residents in rural areas defecate in the open with Jharkhand and Odisha topping the charts with an alarming count of 90.5 per cent and 81.3 per cent respectively. Bengal’s numbers, with around 400 out of 1000 rural households having no latrine facility, are pretty concerning as well. What is even worse is that in a “progressive” state like Gujarat, nearly 40.4 per cent of the population defecates in the open, creating huge problems for health for the population. I could relate to the sinking feeling. “Sir, do you know that in the last couple of months, over 200 of the little kids, in the Sankrail region have been suffering from typhoid and cholera? Do you really feel that a cluster where women have to go out and hunt for suitable place to defecate, really needs help in terms of developing their business or finding new channels of business? The Government is spending crores of money in promoting ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and developing Common Facility Centers including common manufacturing cum display and selling hubs…what about the sanitation? What about the toilets and the drainage? What do we tell our kids when they grow up….what have we done for them?” Cutting words those were, it is indeed a breach of morality, a dent in the essence of loftiness….and I was literally speechless by then. The gentlemen had raised such a critical issue through this firm manifesto. I was appalled to know that India has the highest numbers of under-five deaths globally, and that is primarily attributable to the poor sanitation and hygiene. Yes, we are suffering…

But then we can do our bit isn’t it? We can in-fact raise petitions to amend the existing acts and rules that do not include the provision of rural sanitation, perhaps we can start off the MSME Policy itself. Even you can bring about a welcome change in the lives of millions of ‘untarnished’ kids by showing your heartfelt support for the all-new Domex Initiative, that too sitting at home. My heartfelt request to you is to spare a couple of precious seconds of your busy life, “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on the extreme left hand corner of the website: and that’s it. Domex will contribute Rs.5 (per click) on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, it is in effect, aimed at uplifting ‘rural India’ in true sense of the term and helping innocent kids like Babli to live a happy, healthy and dignified life. Hats off to Domex for launching such an altruistic initiative, much appreciated. The effort that they have undertaken and the progress (in implementing the same) so far, has been truly amazing. Let's disinfect..!

The Statistics Speak louder than words: Courtesy *

* This post is a part of the Domex Toilet for Babli Campaign in association with indiblogger as a part of the #IndiHappyHours segment.

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