Gandhiji and Sanitation
Father of the Nation, MAHATMA GANDHI not only fought for independence but also took up cudgels against a host of social Problems. Known for social engineering, he conducted social experiments for the development of Indian Villages. In the realm of manual scavenging, his efforts were to mitigate human suffering and ensure dignity. He considered manual scavenging to be inhuman and reiterated sanitation, health and hygiene aspects in various forums and occasions.
Pointing out our unhygienic habits Gandhiji strongly emphasized on observing cleanliness in lavatories.
“I shall have to defend myself on one point, namely, sanitary conveniences. I learnt 35 years ago that a lavatory must be as clean as a drawing room. I learnt this in the West. I believe that many rules about cleanliness in lavatories are observed more scrupulously in the West than in the East. There are some defects in their rules in this matter, which can be easily remedied. The cause of many of ours diseases is the condition of our lavatories and our bad habit of disposing of excreta anywhere. I therefore believe in the absolute necessity of a clean place for answering the call of nature and clean articles for use at the time, have accustomed myself to them and wish that all others should do the same. The habit has become so firm in me that even if I wished to change it I would not be able to do so. Nor do I wish to change it”.
(From Navajivan Dated: 24-05-1925)