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Saturday 1 September 2018

Latrines are all around India

Por olimurs.92

In October 2014 the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, embarked on a crusade that seeks to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi's dream: to achieve a clean India. To this end, it launched the 'Clean India' campaign, which aims to ensure that by October 2019 all of the nearly 1.3 billion Indian citizens have a latrine in their homes or communities and the practice of defecating fresh air.

According to the latest data from the 2011 census, 53 percent of Indian households lack a toilet, so those who live in them often relieve themselves in the open air. Since the government launched its initiative, millions of latrines have been built throughout the country, in some cases with the support of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, but the challenge today is to use and maintain them.

From the FVF work, in addition to the construction of latrines, offering awareness talks because, explains Suseelamma Kadiki, the head of the campaign in the region of Uravakonda, that it is not only about having a latrine but to use it.

The specialist said to international media that outdoor defecation is a practice that unfortunately is still common, especially in rural areas and until a few years ago there was an absolute ignorance about the innumerable and serious dangers to which the population is exposed due to it.

Thanks to its talks, theatrical performances and informative workshops, the FVF is making the population understand the "dangers to their health" that outdoor defecation entails, while also informing them about "the importance of good maintenance". of the latrine and its cleaning, "says Kadiki. "It is not an easy task," he acknowledges, although it seems that people seem to be "slowly" understanding these dangers, not only for themselves, but also for their children.

In this task of raising awareness and awareness of the importance of not defecating in the open air, women are taking the lead and have become "the engine of this transformation" while men are those who seem to be more "reluctant" to change in their habits, stands out for his part Dr. Ashok, who works in the pediatric department one of the hospitals of the FVF and that every day sees the effects on health that poor hygiene has on the little ones.

The doctor is clear that the decline in infant mortality in Andhra Pradesh (the state in which the FVF works), which has gone from 65 per 1,000 in 2000 to 34 per 1,000 live births in 2016 is related at least "in part, to an improvement in sanitation and hygiene ".