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December 26, 2014

Is Merely Building Toilets A Solution

After a lot of discussion the question boils down to whether merely building toilets is a solution and the answer is a clear ‘NO’. This can be proved by asking yourself a question - if you see a public toilet on a road, would you use it? The general answer would be “no”, since the lack of cleanliness in public toilets prevents one from using them. The second problem is the mind-set of the people. The Hindu scriptures say that we should excrete far from our home. These kind of religious barriers don’t allow the people to progress. Therefore, to make the sanitation mission successful, the very first thing we need to do is to alter the mind-set of the people. Awareness through newspapers and hoardings, through campaigns, through street plays is the only way to do that. However, mind-set is not the only problem; these problems include economic problems, problems with the implementation of technology and maintenance problems. The villagers do not have enough money to build a toilet. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the government to start and to implement schemes to provide the poor people with financial aid. No doubt, the government has been the successful in starting such schemes but implementation is still a question. Implementation becomes even more difficult in a country like India where corruption and greed is limitless, population is excess and there is lack of awareness. This implementation problem intensifies the whole sanitation problem. Even if the government gets some economical and efficient model for toilets, the question again comes to “implementation”. Maintenance problems are another barrier to ‘Mission Sanitation’. However, one thing above all this is the sense of individual responsibility. ‘Mission Sanitation’ will only be successful if every citizen of India feels shame in throwing garbage on roads, only if we feel shameful to defecate in open. I am sure that the attainment of a Clean India is not far but in the foreseeable future.