Attitude Towards Cleanliness In India

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07 Oct 2021
4 min read

Post Highlight

“Sanitation is more important than independence,” Mahatma Gandhi declared. He was well aware of the plight of India's rural inhabitants at the time, and he envisioned a clean India in which cleanliness and sanitation were emphasized as a way of life. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) is a large-scale effort that has made an impact at the facility and infrastructure levels. The program's goals may be met if people are aware of the purpose and understand fundamental sanitation and waste management techniques. To know more, read our blog! #TWN

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India is a land of an ancient civilization. It has been declared a secular state. People of several faiths live in India, including Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, and others, and they all practice their religions with zeal. However, the unfortunate fact in our nation is that all cleanliness and modesty are restricted to religious activities and cooking. It is not in our nature to keep our environment clean and sanitary. We clean our own houses at most, and we don't care about sidewalks, roads, parks, or other public spaces.

Swachha Bharat Abhiyaan

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan is the world's largest "behavioral change" initiative, aiming to make a quantitative and qualitative transformation in how a country approaches sanitation.

The elimination of open defecation, eradication of manual scavenging, modern and scientific municipal solid waste management, positive behavioral changes regarding healthy sanitation practices, raising awareness about sanitation and its link to public health, and capacity augmentation for urban local bodies (ULBs) to create an enabling environment for sanitation are all goals of urban Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

There are some encouraging signs. For one thing, there has been an increase in knowledge of fundamental sanitation and waste practices in various communities, such as schools and RWAs, as well as at the individual level. The inclination to toss rubbish anywhere instead of seeking a dustbin has decreased; at the very least, there is greater shame in leaving waste on the side of the road. In parks and other areas, finding trash or a public toilet has become a bit simpler.

In surveys on public opinion of SBA, the majority of respondents (82.00 percent) believe that SBA has helped a cleaner India, and they recognize that individual contributions are critical to the program's success. This demonstrates that participants had a favorable opinion of SBA, which is consistent with findings from comparable surveys conducted in other Indian states.

However, there is still a long way to go. A thorough awareness program for smaller trash makers, such as street vendors and merchants in congested marketplaces, should be implemented, for example. The public toilets that are constructed must stay functional and clean, and their liquid and solid waste must be handled in a sustainable manner using sewers or septic tanks. No involvement is anticipated unless people's attitudes regarding cleanliness and its importance improve. Indians are typically unconcerned with their personal hygiene. Because kids are unaware of the health consequences, most of them spit wherever they choose. They will not modify their behavior until they are aware of it.

Solid Waste Management Scene in India

Due to rapid urbanization, India is facing severe waste management challenges. More than 377 million urban citizens live in 7,935 cities and towns and contribute heavily to generating close to 62 million tons of municipal solid waste annually. Out of this massive number, only 43 million (MT) tons is collected, 12 MT is treated, and the rest 31 MT is dumped in landfill sites. SWM (Solid Waste Management) is one of the fundamental services offered by municipal authorities to maintain cleanliness standards in urban centers. Ironically, almost every municipal authority drops solid waste at dump yards haphazardly outside or within the city. Consequentially, many experts believe India is employing flawed waste disposal and management system.

Conclusion

Although participants' knowledge of SBA and attitudes toward cleanliness are good, programs and techniques to encourage positive behavior among groups of individuals who are hesitant to adopt proper cleanliness, sanitation, and hygiene practices are still needed. It has made an impact in terms of public awareness and infrastructure. The main challenge now is to achieve long-term behavioral changes in the shape of a "Jan-Andolan" (people's movement) in which every citizen feels and acts as a vital partner.

TWN Special