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Sanitation and Hygiene: A Crucial Infrastructural Necessity

Sanitation and Hygiene: A Crucial Infrastructural Necessity

Access to water and sanitation has been officially declared a human right by the United Nations, as it has a significant impact on one's health and overall dignity. Potable drinking water, clean toilets, and hygiene are some of the most basic necessities of life. In spite of that, even today these primary facilities are no less than a luxury for many underprivileged people in India and other developing and underdeveloped nations worldwide. VASTRA is one of the credible NGOs working on water and sanitation in Mumbai that strives to ensure that safe water and sanitation is accessible to all.

Why is access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene essential?

The importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene for the wellbeing of a person cannot be emphasised enough. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought more attention to how hygienic practices like washing hands can help curb the spread of diseases. But it also put the spotlight on the fact that in many parts of the world including India, three billion people across still do not have access to soap and handwashing facilities. Being one of the prominent water and sanitation NGOs in Mumbai, India, VASTRA works tirelessly to provide access to the needy to this crucial infrastructural necessity.

The impact of unsafe sanitation and hygiene on health

Before you learn about the negative consequences of unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene, here are some key facts that you should know:

  • Safe sanitation is inaccessible to over half of the worldwide population.
  • Globally, 2.2 billion people still dont have access to potable drinking water.
  • 673 million around the world still defecate in the open.

People residing in urban slums, rural areas, disaster-prone locations, and low-income countries are the ones who are the most affected by these issues. The absence or lack of such necessary facilities can have serious consequences on health leading to diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, dysentery, etc. which can also prove fatal. These health risks can be prevented by building adequate infrastructure so that everyone gets equitable access to safe drinking water and clean toilets.

The importance of sanitation and hygiene for girls and women

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) says that it is imperative to improve the access of girls and women to safe toilets, as the female sex is more vulnerable than men in this context due to its distinct requirements of sanitation and hygiene.
  • Many women from backward or poverty-stricken groups have to urinate and defecate in the open, having to walk long distances to isolated areas - which puts them at a greater risk of developing health problems and also makes them vulnerable to verbal or physical assault.
  • The lack of proper hygiene and adequate toilets in schools leads girls from underprivileged sections to miss or drop out from school.

Keeping all this in mind, VASTRA adopts a gender-sensitive approach to facilitate equal access of water, sanitation, and hygiene to all including women and girls.

Sanitation and hygiene is a crucial infrastructural necessity for all regardless of their economic background or societal status. Apart from water and sanitation, VASTRA - the leading NGO in Mumbai, also works for other causes such as education, healthcare, animal welfare, etc.

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