Cleanliness for better health
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. A clichéd one that makes us just focus on clean homes with resultant unclean surroundings! Dirt collected from cleaning our homes is thrown outside. Why? Because we follow cultural and societal norms. And these norms hold precedence over our own health.
Poor sanitation leads to poor health. One does not need statistics to prove this. Infections breed in pile of collected dirt and spread to all irrespective of caste, creed, or religion. Gravity of the situation is such that unhygienic condition is a health hazard, being a sure shot recipe for decrease in immunity, generation, & sustenance of infections (dirt spreads germs) as well as resistance to antibiotics. Malaria, dengue, leptospirosis, swine flu, tuberculosis are rampant diseases all related to poor sanitation practices. Spitting anywhere, pollution all culminate in poor health of citizens. Personal hygiene is necessary.
It is imprudent to identify oneself with a false shadow of following poor sanitation as denoting gender strength.
Beliefs, values, norms of the culture are so ingrained in our DNA that make us averse to any logic. Practice of cleanliness is neither dependent on financial status, nor literacy status of any individual. It depends on mindsets and any intention to change towards better. Each new generation is smarter than the previous one. Older does not necessarily mean wiser. It rests upon each incoming generation to modify positively the archaic and harmful beliefs, values, and norms of its culture.
Society cannot wait for the government to create any change. It is the society itself that must change. It is time to change how one interprets their own sanitation practices. There is nothing inferior culturally in following good hygiene. It is indeed appalling to see the historically assigned societal norms dictate sanitation practices in the 21st century.
Forget spreading awareness of cleanliness as being a citizen’s fundamental responsibility; its late for that slogan now. We Indians take pride in not following rules nor abiding to our responsibilities. Generation Next, victims of poor sanitation practices, need to act aggressively to bring about necessary change. They need to direct their destiny towards a cleaner tomorrow.
Frugality is in our DNA. But do we realize that we ultimately must spend this saved money on self-created health issues?