These days everything begins at home. Earlier people used to say that charity begins at home, but these days is everything begins at home. Every human being learns from his/her elders. So if elders do charity, then a person will learn to do charity and if elders do bribing and cheating, then a person will learn that. Similarly sanitation and hygiene also begin at home. Sanitation and hygiene, according to me is a habit which one built over the years. I remember my father put the habit of washing hands before eating in me. My father used to scold me in the beginning if I don't wash my hands before eating the food. I was too small and at that time I didn't really understand why is he forcing me to do that. As I grew up, then I understood that my hands encounter a lot of dirt daily and if I eat with such dirty hands, I will fall ill or I will catch some infectious disease. I just realized the importance of sanitation and hygiene.
One more instance taught me the importance of hygiene in my life. Most unhygienic things to eat in this world is pani puri. Pani puri vendors put their hand in that flavored water and only they know from which and how many places that hand has come from which is going straight in that flavored water. Once a pani puri vendor in our area got cut on his hand while cutting onions and he was making pani puris with the same hand. He had tied a cloth on that cut as it was bleeding, but that piece of cloth got wet by going in flavored water again and again and it came off. So he was making those pani puris with that bleeding hand. That pani puri vendor was HIV positive and due to his blood went in that water two girls got infected with it as well. See how some unhygienic food was enough to take away the lives of two girls. This instance taught me the importance of sanitation and hygiene in my life more than anything else. Sanitation and hygiene keep me healthy and fit. It keeps me away from the infectious diseases which helps me to concentrate completely on my work and day to day activities.
I am lucky that I have got proper sanitation facilities, but there are a lot of people in India who do not get that. It has been over 6 decades since we have got independence, but even today, almost 597 million people are defecating in open due to the lack of sanitation facilities. There are lots of villages in India, which do not have even a single toilet. So people defecate in open without worrying about how unhygienic it is and it causes them some serious diseases. People can't afford to have toilets in their houses, but they should come together to have at least one common toilet in the village. It's not only defecating in open, but factories and people dispose waste water in open grounds where children play, which can also cause some serious health issues to them. People here are illiterate, they don't know what sort of diseases they will catch if they don't dispose wastage properly or if they defecate in open. People are not aware of the consequences of these things. It is very important to make people aware about the importance of sanitation and diseases caused by not taking care of it.
India is one of the youngest nations in the world. It has the potential of becoming youngest super power of the world with the amount of talent and skill our youth possess. Unfortunately, our youth is living in a unhygienic atmosphere at the moment which will decrease their efficiency, concentration, etc. In short our future is in a danger due to lack of sanitation facilities. NDTV and Dettol have started cleanathon to make India clean and hygienic. On 1st October swachh express took off with the objective of creating awareness about sanitation and hygiene through videos, flyers, posters, street plays and hand washing sessions. This swachh express bus will cover 400 villages across 8 states. It's a great initiative by NDTV and Dettol. Let's join hands with them and together take a step forward towards clean and hygienic India. I think we have talked enough about it, now it's time to act. So those who want to act and want to be part of this initiative log on to http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/