sulabh swatchh bharat

Thursday, 21-March-2019

SANITATION IS THE TOOL FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

A Study in Connection with Gujarat

Digital technology has changed global scenario. Gujarat and other states of India are also influenced by the Digi-Tech change. The things which were earlier not known to people, now they are screened, live telecasted. This digital technology also remains a highly powerful mean to present the social, cultural, academic, environmental and political issues. Since ancient era to till today, Gujarat has unique importance in the progress and development of the nation. 
Gujarat remains a unique state in India geographically, culturally and socially since early era. Centuries ago, Harappan civilisation dwelt here. Dwarika, Somnath, Vallabhi are the historical places of Gujarat. Gujarat is the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Vikram Sarbhai. Gujarat has given geniuses to the nation, and the world. In our time Gujarat is emerging as the advanced state of the nation. With the development of the nation citizens’ safety and welfare are essential. But still there are some challenges/ hurdles in the path of progress of the state. The basic needs of the people, like water, sanitation and hygiene issues are one of them.  
Oxford dictionary defines ‘Sanitation’ as “Conditions relating to public health, especially the provision of clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal”. Collins dictionary also refers “Sanitation is the process of keeping places clean and healthy, especially by providing a sewage system and a clean water supply”.  For human beings’ safe survival and welfare WHO/UNICEF has given priority to WASH. It means Water, Sanitation and Hygiene practices. According to UNICEF. “Today, there are around 2.4 billion people who do not use improved sanitation, and 663 million who do not have access to improved water sources.”  So WASH is the challenge before the humanity now.
WASH in connection with Gujarat is also a matter to worry. For public health collective actions should be taken by NGOs, Govt and people of Gujarat. In this paper main focus is given on Sanitation as the tool of Social Change, especially in connection with Gujarat. 
In ancient time in Gujarat, as the archeological sites of Lothal and Dholaveera show there were well planned sewage system at that time, even in the middle age in palaces and in the houses of administrators the system was working. There was also a nice arrangement for storing drinking water from rain water. But for the common people there was no such system. The benefits were for the selected people.  
In 21st century, Digi-era, the democratic state Gujarat is emerging as the advanced state. At this time, welfare of citizens is equally important. Social health and harmony lead path of progress. Without social harmony, progress leads anarchy and unhealthy environment. Sanitation can be the effective tool for better health as well, as harmony of the state. To accept it as the tool, geographical, social, cultural, educational and industrial regions of Gujarat should be considered and according to the plan goal can be achieved. Sanitation, like in whole nation, in Gujarat too is connected with caste issues. In Gujarat, sanitation work is only done by Dalits and by women. Cleaning work is the work of Dalits, this wrong ideology still controls minds of orthodox.  So sanitation is the issue of Caste and gender discriminations. On account of that injustice is committed on both. 
Women of all castes are traditionally the part of cleaning work at their homes. Most of all women are cleaning right from their kitchen to the washrooms. As a matter of fact instead of social harmony materialistic casteists’ and patriarchal dominating ideologies become stronger and consequently humanist ideology becomes weaker. At that point, public health through sanitation suffers a lot. To accept sanitation as the tool for social change following steps can be useful:

• Geographical Divisions of Gujarat:  Geographically and administratively Gujarat is divided into six regions:
Kutch Region: This region includes one district, Bhuj. It is the largest district of the state. Major part of the district is of Rana- desert. Water resources are limited. Drinking water is also the issue in rural areas.  There is the university but still learning level is not satisfactory. Though there are large acres of land in this district but big industries face challenges due to water, men power and transportation. As far as caste issue is concern Dalits are doing cleaning work. Hate crimes on Dalits are not reported. By and large social harmony is visible. 

Saurashtra Region: This peninsula is surrounded by water of Arabian sea, Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Khambhat. There is no ever flowing river in this region but during the rainy seasons water is stored by dams and check dams. Now Narmada/ Mahi river water is supplied through canals/pipe lines. Its populated region includes Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli- Rajula, Bhavnagar, Botad,Surendranagar, Ahmedabad (part) {Dhandhuka taluka} and Diu. Dugwells are major source of water. Gir forest is here. A few districts face water problems,  especially in rural ares. Education rate is higher here. Caste orthodoxy still prevails in this region so caste conflicts are taking place. Hate crime on Dalits are reported here.  Injustices to women are reported.

Central Region of Gujarat: Since British era this region remains progressive. It includes the districts Ahmedabad, Anand, Bharuch, 
Dahod, Gandhinagar, Kheda, Narmada, Panchmahal and Vadodara.  Due to education, industries and water resource this region is rich. Narmada river water proved nectar to the region. Caste issues are taking place in rural areas. Hate crime are reported on Dalits. Injustices to women are reported.

South Region of Gujarat: Since middle age to our times, this region has unique importance due to natural resources including forest and rivers. Education and industries have developed on this belt. It includes districts Surat, Valsad, Dang, Navsari and Tapi. Surat, on the bank of rive Tapi, is the centre of this region. Caste issues are not much reported. But working-class women become victims of injustice. By and large social harmony is visible. 

North Region of Gujarat: This region has historical significance. Patan was the capital of Gujarat during Solanki dynasty. Earlier Banas and Saraswati rivers were flowing here. Now the river beds are dry. It includes districts Gandhinagar (part), Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravali, Mahesana and Patan. Education and industries are developing. Caste issues are reported here. Hate crime on Dalits and injustice to women are reported here.

East Region of Gujarat: This region is rich with forest. It includes districts Vadodara, Panchmahal, and Dahod. Education level is lower here. It is a tribal belt. Dalits became victims here. Injustices to women are reported.

Possible Suggestions: To maintain and develop social health and harmony, considering education, industries, social environment and water availability are some possible suggestions that can be the effective tools for social change. With the help of the public, attitudes can also be changed. Following careful actions can gradually change public attitudes and can remain the effective tool for social change.

Water Supply:  In Kutch, Saurashtra and North Gujarat regions, water is the major issue as a drinking water as well as for agriculture. Especially in rural areas this issue is still a challenging one. People use well water for drinking purpose, it contains harmful minerals, and it invites diseases. For agriculture it also harms the land. For drinking and irrigation purpose enough water supplies should be there. Caste discriminations and cruelties on women and Dalits must be stopped by learning and laws. Lessons of cleaning should be the part of life.   

Women Empowerment: Strict actions against injustices to women must be taken. Still violence against women is increasing. Patriarchal orthodox attitudes can be changed by empowerment of women. They must be provided quality education and skill based learning. In public dealing women’s active participations must be encouraged. Maximum digital technology can be used to empower the women. 
Strong actions against castes hate crime: Strong actions and punishment must be used against those who involve in caste-hate crimes. It is shocking that still caste controls major fields of human life, right from birth to death. As a result identity as a nation’s citizen suffers. Caste identity still dominates. Egalitarian ideology of Indian spirituality and the constitution of the nation must be popularized. 
Recycling of west to best: There are big industrial units in Gujarat but recycling units from solid and liquid waste are yet to be established. On a small scale biogas plants are working in Sanorasa, Bhavnagar district. But on a big scale solid and liquid waste can be transformed into as a reusable product. It can save environment as well as satisfy the need of the people. 
Large quantity of valuable recyclable human waste is going useless, as a solid waste and liquid waste. Through the latest technology it should be recycled and reuse. Sanitation awareness should be treated as mission for healthy society.

Rational environment for sanitation: Rational society is yet to be born here. Irrational practices should be treated as punishable. By using scientific and technology rational environment should be created. Rationalism means not a rejection of faith but irrationality on the name of faith. Culture of Gujarat follows mutual respect and brotherhood. It must be strengthened. This sort of environment is the sign of healthy society.

Use of latest technology for WASH: By using the latest technology, the issues of WASH can be solved earliest. Technology is perhaps the best means to unite humanity without any discrimination. It can also help to solve the millions of issues. Solar energy as well as tidal water of Gujarat coast can also be used for solving the sanitation issues.
Thus considering all the aspects for social health and harmony specific environment can prove useful. People’s nausea for cleaning work can be removed. As the rational environment develops, the role of caste can be weaker. Injustice to Dalits and women would reduce too.
In short, these sorts of actions will remain useful to create better Gujarat, socially and by health. Women and those who are connected with sanitation work should be accepted as the guarding to the public health not as the inferior. People will realise waste is not the useless waste at all but it is the raw matter for the best reusable product.