Societal Problems in India – Sanitation, Health and Clean Water in Rural Areas

Access to sanitation, health and clean water is a service that isn’t equally obtainable in India. In a country that is home to one-sixth of the global population shouldn’t this be considered the top-most priority?

While we have already made incredible strides in eliminating neonatal tetanus and polio there are many more pressing concerns which require our attention.

Even with the lead that we have taken in the past few years there are challenges that remain in the rural areas. The inequalities are significant when it comes to sanitation and reasonable health services.

For over a decade the health expenditure in the government budget has just been 1% of the GDP. This disproportion has put India behind in the global rankings. Besides, funds are not used efficiently for the programs they are allocated for.

Similar challenges are faced in the provision of sanitation, drainage, waste management system and provision of clean water. Only 39% of Indian rural villages have access to sanitation and about 44% defecate in the open. Thousands of children and adults die every year because of contaminated water and sanitation related diseases – diarrhoea is one of them.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Mission Indradhanush and many such other programs have been launched by the government of India to address the problems of sanitation and health. However, the system needs to dig in deeper to understand where the problem lies. The change is slow and the mission isn’t complete. There were several programs launched revolving around health, sanitation and water that had targets to achieve but most of these projects have sunk into nothingness – probably shut down with no goals achieved.

Nevertheless the entire blame cannot be thrown on the administration alone. It is we who don’t welcome change with open arms. We are reluctant and revolting. It is the mentalities of people that need to be changed through education and awareness.

I definitely understand the loopholes that a system can have when there is something big to be executed. However, my point is when the others can why can’t we?

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