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  Table of Contents 
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-77
 

Some initiatives for promoting environmental sanitation in India


Department of Community Medicine, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Narhe, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication29-Nov-2011

Correspondence Address:
Harshal T Pandve
Department of Community Medicine, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Narhe, Pune 411 041, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.90379

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How to cite this article:
Pandve HT, Fernandez K, Chawla P S, Singru SA. Some initiatives for promoting environmental sanitation in India. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2011;15:76-7

How to cite this URL:
Pandve HT, Fernandez K, Chawla P S, Singru SA. Some initiatives for promoting environmental sanitation in India. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2011 [cited 2019 Apr 24];15:76-7. Available from: http://www.ijoem.com/text.asp?2011/15/2/76/90379


Dear Sir,

Situation of environmental sanitation in India is discussed by few articles in the back issues of the journal. [1],[2],[3] This brief article reflected light on the some recent development and initiatives for promoting environmental sanitation at the National level as some initiatives started through community participation in India.

Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India has drafted National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP). The vision for Urban Sanitation in India is, "All Indian cities and towns become totally sanitized, healthy and livable and ensure and sustain good public health and environmental outcomes for all their citizens with a special focus on hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities for the urban poor and women". Policy focuses on important sanitation issues such as poor awareness, social, and occupational aspects of sanitation, lack of an integrated city-wide approach. In order to rapidly promote sanitation in urban areas of the country (as provided for in the NUSP and Goals 2008), and to recognize excellent performance in this area, the Government of India intends to institute an annual award scheme for cities. [4] Recently, rating and categorization of 423 cities across the country is done in order to get a sense of the current status of sanitation in India's cities. As per the ranking of the cities not even a single city is categorized under the green category which defines "Healthy and Clean city". Under the blue category which is "Recovering but still diseased city" four cities are categorized and those are Chandigarh, Mysore, Surat, and New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). The black category included "Cities needing considerable improvement" had 229 cities across the country, of which 44 are from West Bengal, 27 are from Maharashtra, 21 from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, 20 from Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Red categories included "Cities on the brink of public health and environment emergency and needing immediate remedial action". In this category, 190 cities across the country are included of those 34 are from Uttar Pradesh, 27 are from Andhra Pradesh, 18 are from Madhya Pradesh, 17 are from Bihar and 16 are from Rajasthan. Of the Metro cities only New Delhi is coming under the blue category, whereas Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai are included in the black category. Some of the state capitals like Srinagar (J and K), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Raipur (Chattisgarh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), and Dehradun (Uttarakhand) are categorized under the red category, while other state capitals are categorized under the black category (except Chandigarh which is the capital for Punjab and Haryana). [5] This survey is an eye opener of sanitation situation of the cities for all who are concerned with city either governmental officials or general public who will take some action to promote environmental sanitation. It is expected that based on these ratings and categorizations, the award system will promote the Indian cities to more sanitary conditions. Another important initiative is "National School Sanitation Initiative" started with the mission to achieve 100% sanitation, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Central Board for Secondary Education, and GTZ. More than 100 schools affiliated to CBSE across India are a part of this programme. The initiative supports the goals laid in the NUSP 2008 by focusing on proper sanitation and hygiene, its disposal, and waste segregation in order to achieve an Open Defecation Free Life for all the citizens. The schools and students are the "Agents of Change and Transformation" for a countrywide initiative on sanitation through awareness generation and behavioral change. [6] Similarly, for promotion of environmental sanitation in rural areas and to add vigor to the Total Sanitation Campaign, in June 2003, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India initiated an incentive scheme for fully sanitized and open defecation free Gram Panchayats (GPs), Blocks, and Districts called the 'Nirmal Gram Puraskar' (NGP). First NGPs were distributed in 2005. NGP seeks to recognize Panchayat Raj Institution and other institutions who have contributed significantly toward ensuring full sanitation coverage in their areas of operation. [7] These are an extremely important initiative undertaken by Govt. of India to address environmental sanitation.

Apart from the above-mentioned governmental initiatives, some non-governmental community based initiatives are started through community participation; few of those are mentioned here. ASHWAS (A Survey of Household Water and Sanitation) was a participatory survey that covered 28 districts of Karnataka covering more than 17,200 households across 172 GPs. This was a peoples' survey, and the surveyors were selected from the respective communities that included students, women from self-help groups, local NGO partners, and other volunteers. [8] In Mumbai, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) conducted a study of sanitation facilities and the state of cleanliness at all of Mumbai's 109 suburban railway stations. The study has unmasked the wretched condition of toilets and urinals in most of the stations on Central, Western, and Harbor lines. [9] Such types of initiatives by general public are important to initiate some action by the government by acting as pressure groups.

To conclude, environmental sanitation is an important determinant of the health situation of country, state, and other subunits of the population. So far environmental sanitation was somewhat neglected by all including governmental authorities as well as general public, but as its importance is now well-accepted globally important initiatives are started by government as well as by the community. It is also essential that these initiatives are taken together by all persistently for betterment of mankind.

 
  References Top

1.Pandve HT. Environmental sanitation: An ignored issue in India. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2008;12:40.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Majra JP, Gur A. India needs a great sanitary awakening. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2008;12:143.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
3.Kumar SG, Jayarama S. Issues related to sanitation failure in India and future perspective. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2009;13:104.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
4.National Urban Sanitation Policy, Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India. Available from: http://www.urbanindia.nic.in/programme/uwss/NUSP.pdf. [Last accessed on 2010 Dec 27].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Rank of Indian Cities on Sanitation, National Urban Sanitation Policy Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India. Available from: http://pib.nic.in/archieve/others/2010/may/d2010051103.pdf. [Last accessed on 2010 Dec 27].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.National School Sanitation Initiative. Available from: http://www.gtz.de/en/weltweit/asien-pazifik/31155.htm. [Last accessed on 2010 Dec 27].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Nirmal Gram Purskar Guidelines, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India. Available from: http://164.100.194.23/NGP2010Static/PDF/GuidelinesEnglish2010.pdf. [Last accessed on 2010 Dec 27].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.ASHWAS - A People′s Survey of Water and Sanitation in Karnataka, 2009. Available from: http://www.indiawaterportal.org/node/8339. [Last accessed on 2010 Dec 27].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.ORF study highlights appalling state of sanitation at Mumbai railway stations. Available from: http://www.orfonline.org/cms/sites/orfonline/modules/report/ReportDetail.html?cmaid=19162andmmacmaid=19163. [Last accessed on 2010 Dec 27].  Back to cited text no. 9
    




 

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