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How Clean Water is at the Heart of Health & Hygiene


News18.com | Updated: August 31, 2020, 11:53 PM IST
The link between clean water and sanitation can be better understood by enumerating ways in which lack of clean water compromises health and hygiene. Water is not just the elixir of life. It’s also the most reliable medium to enable effective health and sanitation practices.

Inaccessibility of clean water puts communities on a downward spiral of deteriorating health and economic conditions. It elucidates the ways in which clean water resources underpins the well-being of our communities. As we begin to chart a new course of public health and hygiene, it would help to take a closer look at how it influences our sanitation efforts.

Basic Sanitation Infrastructure

Even after the government’s much publicised campaign to reform hygiene practices in rural India, most sanitation infrastructure are useless without the necessary supply of clean water. This has meant many still choose to defecate near accessible water sources, even if it means being outdoors.

Pollution of Existing Water Resources

A lack of clean water for sanitation sets off a vicious cycle that forces people to seek out public sources of clean water to fulfil their needs. This, in turn, leads to intractable pollution of our water bodies, further reducing our stock of clean water. Furthermore, this newly-polluted body of water becomes a festering hub for diseases and illnesses.

Water Stress Compromises Health

Families faced with such resource-insecurity often tend to put health and hygiene requirements off as untenable distractions. For them, the distinction between usable and unusable water begins to blur, often resulting in ingestion of poisonous effluents that lead to illness and disease. Communities facing such water and health crisis become epicentres of new disease outbreaks, compromising the health and wellness of the country at large.

This is why any effort at implementing new sanitary and hygiene practices must also include plans to preserve and augment our clean water resources. These clean water resources must be made equally accessible to all citizens, if we are to ensure no part of our country remains mired in vicious cycles of poor health and disease.
To give a platform to our national efforts to promote health and hygiene and conserve clean water sources, News 18 and Harpic India have joined hands to create #MissionPaani. You can also be a part of this transformative movement. Just log onto https://www.news18.com/mission-paani/