Did you know that, 75% of total body mass in a newborn baby is Water. By the age child reaches puberty water makes up to 50% of total body mass in girls and 60% in boys. No wonder not getting enough water causes severe health issues at any age. With today’s busy modern life majority of urban population suffers from some sort of lack of Hydration. “Thirst” is a learnt behavior caused by dryness in the mouth. Lot of people living in low-income settlements or slums in countries like India form this habit of not drinking enough water as hydration sources available to them are so scarce.
When one visits slums of Chennai, Kolkata or other big cities of India, it is evident that deficiency of drinkable & usable water is causing not only health issues but bigger sanitation problems as well. Human body wastes not washed or drained properly occupies the cramped space in narrow shanties shared by families of 5 or more people. Due to lack of drinkable water & formed habit of not taking enough hydration, these slum dwellers’ bodies are already at the lowest immunity level from health metabolism wise. Various diseases spring & sprawl in such atmosphere, causing the part of population living here to be always sick. Most of these diseases are infectious and spread fast in these low income settlements. The youth from these low income settlement typically visit other developed part of the city on daily basis as these people are most likely serving as house hold help, cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks to other effluent part of the society. Thus infectious diseases transfers to other strata s of the society very fast.
Based on one research carried out by World Bank, inadequate sanitation cost India north of 53 billion USD, that is 6.4% of India’s GDP in the year 2006 alone. Since then many companies & NGOs have taken up the challenge to clean India’s cities and eradicate menace from lack of hydration & Sanitation. Recently TERI University and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in association with Coca-Cola and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) launched the ‘Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings” initiative in Kolkata. The WASH programmes (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) aim to reach 50,000 beneficiaries in low-income settlements and over 300 professionals through WASH governance studies. It will also reach out to 2,500 students through 20 municipal schools across India.
PregnancyDost salutes Coca-Cola, USAID & TERI University for taking up this challenge. We strongly believe that only by Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings millions of people living in poverty can be uplifted and True ‘Swaraj’ can be achieved. We need to Develop and implement a rock solid safe drinking & sanitation system to make every able person in the society healthy & productive. We are with Coca-Cola, USAID & TERI University in this cause , Are you? Please share this message and tell your opinion in the comments section below.