Wednesday, January 27, 2010

we will break but can not bend ( not even for greater good)

Almost pained to see that CLTS is not mentioned in the recently published book "squatting with dignity : Lessons from India". While lessons from India suggest States which have tried out CLTS are on top and the conventional activity based interventions are not even a match . The official figures are a testimony to it.

The book could have done well giving CLTS its due credit and also discussing about the bottlenecks it faced to create many a open defecation free villages in India .

But again why to expect more in an environment which is managed by people believing more on construction of IHHL,subsidy and coverage.

Where are my spectacles ?

"Total Sanitation campaign" (TSC) is almost a decade old now. A lot has been planned ,a lot has been said and a lot has happened. Subsidy / incentive distributed, rewards have been given and not to speak of posters, banners and leaflets printed stored and distributed as part of the strategy to motivate people (that too in a country which ran a countrywide literacy campaign ) . Rural households have been lured,cajoled, threatened and what not.Toilets have been built at times on paper. A mad race of competing with each other with number of toilets built has become a new trend in the official corridors. Targets and figures and achievements are flaunted by all and sundry .

The results have been remarkably different and merit a discussion on how those were achieved. If one goes by the official data the states of Maharashtra,Himachal Pradesh,Haryana and Sikkim and Kerala have been the states which have coverage figures ranging between 80-100% .All other states are behind these front runners.

Incidentally these are the states ( barring Kerala) which have adopted community led approaches to rural sanitation known as the pathbreaking "CLTS" approach.

Maharastra has been the first state in the country to try out the CLTS approach and the results have been remarkable with the state winning more numbers of NGP each year since its introduction. If we go back a little bit, till the year 2006 Himachal Pradesh(HP) and Haryana were considered as laggards and were far below the current percentage. In addition HP had no Open defecation Free Village during the first quarter of 2006. The case of Haryana was more or less same. CLTS was introduced in the year 2006 in both the states and rest is history as they say. The success in these states (HP,Maharashtra,Haryana and Sikkim) comprises not only the increase in coverage of IHHL but also increase in number of villages where no one defecates in the open. Apart from these states some districts of Meghalaya are also showing remarkable progress after adopting CLTS i.e the Jaintia Hills, East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills.

The CLTS has demonstrated its efficacy in these states where there is a policy recognition of the approach and many in the policy making positions both at centre and other states have unofficially acknowledged it . But still CLTS has not been given the wider policy recognition which is needed for scaling up country wide.

Is it becos of bureaucratic stubbornness?

What ever it may be it remindes me of one story we used to study under the subject "English" in the class 4th curriculum. The story was about an almost blind old man searching for his spectacles. The interesting part was that the man was wearing his spectacles while searching for it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Interesting facts

3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.
43% of water-related deaths are due to diarrhea.
84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 - 14.
98% of water-related deaths occur in the developing world.
The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
At any given time, half of the world's hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease.
Less than 1% of the world's fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.

Only 62% of the world's population has access to improved sanitation - defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact.
2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, including 1.2 billion people who have no facilities at all.
The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter.
Lack of sanitation is the world's biggest cause of infection.
At any one time, more than half of the poor in the developing world are ill from causes related to hygiene, sanitation and water supply.
88% of cases of diarrhea worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.
It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities could reduce diarrhea-related deaths in young children by more than one-third. If hygiene promotion is added, such as teaching proper hand washing, deaths could be reduced by two thirds. It would also help accelerate economic and social development in countries where sanitation is a major cause of lost work and school days because of illness.

Impacts on Children
Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at any time.
1.4 million children die as a result of diarrhea each year.
90% of all deaths caused by diarrheal diseases are children under 5 years of age, mostly in developing countries.
This information was found:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shit ! how long

India as a country has been the victim of many outside attacks. The mongols ,huns, the moguls the Britishers and recently the terrorists have ravished our pride time and again. We as a nation have always pointed a finger towards these outside forces which have jolted our conscience, our pride and our unity time and again.

We as a nation can cry collectively during up and downs in a popular soap opera , we can show cosmetic solidarity when some page 3 personality is shot dead but can not voice our opinion as a collective when thousand of farmers commit suicide? We can join hands to wage a SMS war to support our regional heroes in some musical contest .

But have we as a nation bothered about how many children are killed each year just because we shit (read defecate ) in the open ? Are we bothered about the number of children succumbing to diarhoea every day because we defecate in the open ? (according to an estimate more than 42 children die in every 60 minutes from diarohea and water borne diseases and open defecation is said to be the major contributor to diarroheal deaths) ?

Are we as a nation concerned with EVENTs which cause mass destruction and indifferent to a continuous PHENOMENON like child deaths due to diarrohea just becos we defecate in the open? Are we as a nation promoting or patronising the deaths of our children by defecating in the open? Are we proud of exhibiting our shit in the open ?

Are we as a nation who take pride in naming ourselves as the foremost developed country in the Asian subcontinent, a nation of prawns with shit in our head feeding the dead body of our own collective pride? How long we can continue like this ?

Good freind "Harish" wonders why I am expecting so much from a nation which never bothered about how they "shit" ? Difficult to contest , I understand.

But one of the dying child can be mine

or yours .

Do we need to do some thing about it ?
I was wondering what would a "shitfree" world would look like.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Talking shit : The beginning

Dear Friends
Good afternoon!
I was thinking for long to start my blog where me,freiends,foes, all and sundry can talk sense and nonsense . Being a shit cleaner I could not help naming the blog as "" Sounds shit isn't it ? lol
The blog would welcome comments and write ups, feedback from fellow shitcleaners and sanitation workers and people like you,me and others.