Sulabh to expand sanitation campaign

October 16th, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Sulabh International, an Indian NGO working in the field of sanitation, Thursday announced that it will expand the campaign for hand-washing to cover mothers, doctors and others taking care of children.“We can significantly reduce the mortality rate among children caused by diarrhoea and pneumonia if those handling children ensure that their hands are properly washed before they feed them,” said Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of the NGO.

“The practice of hand-washing with soap is a priority concern for the current year, which is being observed as the International Year of Sanitation by the UN,” Pathak said.

Sulabh has already launched a campaign to make the people aware of the importance of washing hands, but feels there is the need for intensifying the move at a larger scale.

“We wish to take the campaign to every nook and corner of the country by engaging our nation-wide network of Sulabh International. We are in the process to work out the details,” said Pathak.

According to a report of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Sulabh has liberated over 60,000 scavengers in India since the inception.

“Mothers, doctors and others dealing with children will be provided training and education for proper hand-washing to check deaths not only among them but children too, caused by unhygienic practices,” said Pathak.

“Five of 10 killer diseases for children in India are related to water and sanitation, which include diarrhoea, typhoid, jaundice, malaria, hookworm and even pneumonia,” he added.

Pathak said currently, 2.6 billion people around the world do not have basic sanitation facilities. The UN’s goal is to reduce this number by half by 2015.

Sulabh maintains 6,500 public pay-per-use toilets and by 2006, had installed 1.4 million household toilets. It employs over 50,000 associates and presently operates in 26 states.

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