This report says that apart from nutrition, children also need proper hygiene and sanitation. Nothing can be farther from truth.
“Just providing nutritional supplements or meals wont be enough. If children get diarrhoea because they drink water that is not safe for drinking, they could still be anaemic. Similarly, nutritional supplements alone won’t help a child who has no access to a toilet or basic hygiene,” Tirath said.
In India, this holds true for both big cities and towns and villages.
This should begin with the parents at home. Parents should encourage their children to wash hands after playing, after using the bathroom/toilet and before eating. Parents should also ensure that there is cleanliness around the house.
Maintaining hygienic conditions outside the house is another matter. How often don’t we see big garbage dumps on our streets?. Corporations are not very efficient in cleaning the garbage on a regular basis.
Remember the plague in Surat in 1994? We need the same kind of response in every city, town and village as that of the Surat Municipal Corporation and this should happen everyday.
Schools should also encourage cleanliness and provide good hygienic conditions. Children should have access to clean toilets and drinking water and clean classrooms among other things.
In villages, this is a different matter altogether. Lack of education among parents will make this very difficult. In villages, there will not be easy access to water. In many villages, sanitation is non-existent.
Government should take initiative in ensuring proper water facilities and good sanitation. It should partner with private organizations.
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