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| Last Updated:22/12/2014

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Is Swachhata only about litter?

The Hindu, 22 December 2014

 

The programme needs to retain the momentum of a movement than that of a litter-cleaning project

 

“Slum districts... consisted of poorly built houses, a deficiency of ventilation and toilets, unpaved narrow streets, mud, and stomach-turning stenches due to the presence of decaying refuse and sewerage. In such conditions, ill health was observably endemic.”

 

This is not a description of Indian cities today (though it may well be), but of Britain around 150 years ago, prior to Britain’s sanitary reform movement, by Dr. James Kay-Shuttleworth. The movement that began in Britain and then spread to other industrialised countries like the United States was spurred in London by Edwin Chadwick’s report “Inquiry into the Sanitary Conditions of the Laboring Populations of Great Britain”. The sweeping changes it brought about in the industrialised world are believed to have saved many lives and contributed to increases in life expectancy — much more than advances in medicine like antibiotics and vaccination. Read more....