Archive for the
‘Sanitation’ Category

Diarrhoea, that slightly embarrassing infection we avoid talking about when we suffer from it! We often consider diarrhoea as something not very serious, yet in India it has become the second biggest killer of children under age five. Around the world annually more than 500000 children under five lose their lives due to severe dehydration caused by diarrhoea.

The buzzing of the crowd, vendors ringing their bells, calling out their wares. The intoxicating smell of vada pav overpowered by a baser and horribly unpleasant aroma. Human faeces in clumps on the railway track and flies everywhere. I was at Kurla station to greet a friend. That said, I could be at any long distance railway station in India and it would look and smell the same.

We read about radioactivity and its possible hazards in a previous post. We also learnt about a bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans and its ability to survive high intensity radiation, which is otherwise lethal to all life forms. This article features the applications of the strain in bioremediation of radioactive waste as well as sites.

Though we may have heard that manual scavenging is a thing of the past, the reality check is a shocker. In a small time span of just about a month, as many as 10 sanitation workers died. The only relief, though too late for the poor souls lost is that the government has responded with prompt action and focused on the implementation part of the law it had framed long ago.

The trouble of safe sanitation is not confined to the developing world only. The so called developed nation USA has a town Anahiem in California where citizens are being regressed to go back to open defecation. The sole mistake of of these vulnerable citizens- there homelessness. Interestingly, the cause in this plight of the common poor is not lack of technology or resources but of a lack of community goodwill in the leadership and implementation bodies.

On the eve of India’s 70th independence day, we all are grateful to our ancestors for the freedom we enjoy today. During the struggle for freedom, it was patriotism that burnt in the hearts of every Indian. Today as we are raising slogans of patriotic sentiments and agitating against various issues, I found we lost those flames that made 15th August 1947 happen. Its not a date or an event it is a message, that the country we live in is our “Motherland” and she belongs to us and us alone. Does this feeling resonates among all of us today? Are we still so loving towards our Motherland? I don’t think the answer to all is a “Yes”. India is leading its march to make its mark all across the globe. But that is not the big picture, India with a a rural population of 68.84 % and sections of people still don’t have the access to basic amenities like food, clothing, shelter and basic hygiene.

A breakthrough move has occurred in the well arrived and beneficial Biotoilet revolution in India. The centre has recently decided to set up Bio toilets at Ganga ghats in Kanpur. Six ghats would be put up under the centre’s Namami Ganga project. The biggest beneficiaries would be the farmers living at the banks in temporary settlements. This is one of the key benefits of bio toilets-they are highly economical and become a boon to the poor even in the inaccessible areas. They have a per day minimum use requirement of 200. This is easily possible keeping in view the commendable population of the city and the masses that visit these ghats. The aim of the project in the long run is the cleaning up of the Ganga river and its tributaries in a comprehensive way.

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