This programme was started by the government of India in 2014 to make India open defecation free(ODF) and create cleanliness and hygiene in the surroundings. This is not the first time that government has pushed for sauchalya but there were various initiatives taken by the government since independence. The recent one was Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. It is sad to know that a large section of our country does not have the facilities for sanitation and safe drinking water. More horrible to know is that many people do not use toilets despite having it because of some behavioral and traditional belief system. Not using toilets or lack of toilets taking our country back despite higher economic growth and development. Some implications of not having toilets:
- Lack of sanitation creates conditions for spreading various diseases. Most numbers newborns die due to diorrhea in India.
- Due to infection, children are not able to absorb the food. It leads to malnutrition.
- Lack of sanitation pollutes the sources of water. It leads to various diseases. For instance- Malaria, Polio, Dengue etc
- It creates a huge financial burden on the people due to excessive health expenditure.
- Dirty places create a bad image of India.
In fact, this is one of the most serious issues which need to be tackled at war footing. The government is trying it’s best to build individual toilets, community toilets etc but there is need of a behavioral change of the people so that they can understand the importance of cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene.
The campaign of “Yahi Asli Tariki” is a nice initiative. However, there is long way to go to change the rigid thoughts of the people of India. It should be made a people’s movement. The aware citizen should themselves come forward and take the first step to make our country clean and beautiful. Until and unless, we will not think our whole country as our own home, we will not be able to contribute.
It is proud to know that Indian civilisation is 5000 years old. Some historians say that it is older than 5000 years. And the most ironic as well as great to know that people of harrapan civilisation had fully functional toilets with a well connected drainage system. Our ancestors were using toilets so long ago but now we forgot using it. Now the time has come to go for extra mile for everyone to make our country clean.