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India is a country where Atomic Age and near Stone Age people co-exist.

TitleHealth and social benefits from improving community hygiene and sanitation : an Indian experience
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsJha, PK
Paginationp. 133-140 : 2 photogr.
Date Published2003-06-01
Keywordsawareness raising, communities, health impact, hygiene, india, open defecation, pit latrines, pour flush latrines, sanitation, sdiasi, sdihyg, sdisan, social change, uemk

India is a country where Atomic Age and near Stone Age people co-exist. On one hand India has achieved development in many areas, but on the other hand there is still the practice of open defecation and manual cleaning of human excreta from bucket privies by scavengers. National sanitation coverage is only about
34% meaning that 66% of the population practises open efecation. Such unhygienic conditions lead to infections and high mortality and morbidity in the community. Low sanitation coverage could be due to lack of a.ordable sanitation technology and awareness or motivation. Although the sewerage system was introduced in India long ago, high operational and maintenance costs have prohibited it from being implemented in most towns and cities. Similarly, the cost of a septic tank is beyond most people, and disposal of undigested sludge from septic tanks remains a problem. In contrast, the pour-flush two-pit toilet (known as Sulabh Shauchalaya) is a low cost, socially acceptable and appropriate technology that does not require scavengers to clean the pits. Sulabh has converted and constructed over 1.2 million such
toilets throughout India, making 240 towns scavenger-free. Liberated scavengers are thereby available to take up vocational training in various market-oriented trades enabling elf-employment. The on-site/ decentralised systems of waste management has improved community health and hygiene, particularly in socially deprived groups, and reduced the financial burden of local government.

[autor's abstract]

NotesIncluding 6 references
Custom 1822, 303, 321.4, 323.1



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