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Sanitation Woes in Assam….deplorable condition and no initiative

“Cleanliness is next to godliness” only if practiced practically instead of just lisping theoretically! Proper sanitation at home can only lead to a cleaner, healthier society but sadly this time tested maxim seems to have fallen on deaf ears of the general public.

Contaminated water, poor sanitation have always been the causes of many an epidemic in our society. The recent outbreak of Diarrhea that has plagued the locality of Uzanbazar since the past few days is an instance of both public and government apathy towards this problem.

Two patients, including a nine year old boy died and 18 were hospitalised after an outbreak of diarrhea was reported in Padumpukhuri area of Uzanbazar yesterday. The joint director of Health services, Kamrup K C Das said that the numbers are going up with nine more persons falling ill who have been hospitalized. The total numbers of affected person have gone up to 27. He also stated that the reason behind the outbreak is the contamination of drinking water and poor sanitation in the area. Water samples have been sent to the laboratories for testing and tests have been carried out on the patients. A makeshift medical camp has also been set up to provide assistance to the people of the area by the health department.

At a time when proper sanitation in villages has become the new mantra in the country’s Rural Development Ministry such a drive is conspicuous by its absence in Assam. The trend to make rural areas clean by employing scientific methods is gaining popularity in other states, a drive that was inspired by Gandhiji’s dream of a clean and healthy society who believed that sanitation was more important than political independence.

In 2003-04, the Rural Development Ministry had first initiated the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) to motivate the village folk towards keeping their respective villages clean. The award had motivated thousands of people to follow good sanitary practices. Such a drive should also be introduced in urban areas which are supposedly more aware of sanitary measures.

Developed countries have a very organized system of garbage disposal. Every household are provided with different coloured bins in order to dispose of their perishable and non perishable rubbish which are later collected from the households to the allotted dumping yards or recycling areas. They follow the three R’s of reuse, reduce and recycle which benefits the people as well as the government.

Sadly Guwahatians may never experience such a system due to rampant corruption and red tapism. Added to leaks in the pipe network poor drainage and wearing out of water pipes the future looks grim and bleak. A complete overhaul of all the sanitation measures can only lead to a healthy society.
Author info

Rituparna Goswami Pande's picture

Journalist, writer


N.Buragohain's picture

i have gone through the article. it is not the amenities and facilities that available or provided by the statutary body or govt but the sense of cleanliness of the people who resides in a city primarily depends on the cleanliness of that city.when one does not have the ethics to keep his own court yard clean and tidy how he can help in keeping the city clean? guwahati is full of such people who never cares to dispose their garbages at proper place, thereby accumulating dirts around day by all that is needed, is the proper hygenic sense of the people, including those who are occupying the seat of responsible to manage the hygenic condition of the city. it is nothing but education. may god make the people of guwahati edcated. i would like your comment on it.
charlie's picture

Dear writer Rituparna in your article what u have wrote its true and if the administaration really serious about sanitation and pipe leakeage maintainage and puripication of driking water to given to gauhaty people then this type of saddness should not be happen and the awerness as u given its grt it should be comes from concern deptt. of govt. of Assam but the govt deptt. think giveing advertise about sanitaration and giving water to people their duty end ,they have no any plain and policy as they should took it seriously what i feel in many place water supply pipe line got connection by hotel or some house or hostel which i feel they have proper permission or not in other country what water supply by concern deptt. they examined it in their labotary and then given to people but i dought its here or not and the main reserver our govt wash it or not its dought as little child know if water put in same bottle in mamy years without washing the bottle just filled it the bottle by water from there some fungus create which harmfull for person who drank may be our main reserver should be wash it and after a gap then we will get fresh water and before ginging supply to people they should examine it may be i dought its here only have in our paper not practically thanks for u concern and most awearness article u have wrote may be now some awerness will comes from govt . and also from people
jaay's picture

I agree on one count that the cleanliness business start from home itself, but the fun part of it is that though our houses maybe clean, but some people have made it a ritual to throw the waste right at the neighbor’s gate and to top that we have lovely administration (GMC) who thinks that they are doing favors by picking up waste few days a month, that also if they workers are not busy elsewhere. I don’t know what GandhiG dreamt, or what vision he had, it seems that those things are long last not only from the society but also from the list of KRA of the government agencies. You are right, what we might think as just WASTE, could bring in biological problems which we cannot even anticipate. But are we prepared for a change? Time will tell. Nice thoughts.


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