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There was this information shared by a speaker at a conference connected with sanitation and hygiene education. As part of his organisation’s initiatives, he had spent days with a tribal community in South India. The first day when he was taken out for the morning routine, he was asked to pluck three leaves from a particular tree. One was for doing the act on. The second one was for covering ‘it’ and the third one for the cleansing part. Our speaker said the whole process was no less hygienic.
However, the more sophisticated world is looking at very scientific washroom hygiene solutions. For one, studies have shown that by and large, people are lazy to follow the basic washroom hygiene practices. Secondly, the newer solutions can prevent spread of infections and also provide a pleasing environment within the washroom. Being used are Intelligent toilet systems with antimicrobial agents, washroom doors with auto open-close or hand sensors, odour control products, disposal systems and most importantly products for the cleaning workers’ personal protection.
Bill Gates wrote in one of the blogs: Of the 1.7 million people worldwide who die from unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene each year, more than 600,000 are in India. A quarter of young girls there drop out of school because there’s no decent toilet available… What I love most about Clean India is that it identified a big problem, got everyone working on it, and is using measurement to show where things need to be done differently… We have, in this issue of Clean India Journal, the blog in full.
Waste management is a big subject in India today. As in many fields, waste management startups have come up and are doing good business. There is one that converts plastic waste to filaments for 3D printing; another company pays for your trash and a third one buys old electronic goods and recycles for you. And there are many more.

Mangala Chandran

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