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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Women relieving themselves in open face risk of rape: Government

("There is an immediate need…)
NEW DELHI: An overwhelming percentage of rural women who are forced to wait till nightfall to relieve themselves face the risk of being raped, the government has admitted ahead of a conference to review sanitation situation in the country.
"Sexual harassment and rape are a risk for many women who without a household toilet have to wait until nightfall to seek the privacy of darkness outside to relieve themselves," says the Centre's note on 'Swachh Bharat Mission' distributed to state ministers for discussion as they meet here tomorrow.
The note prepared by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation emphasised the need for sanitation, saying while having a toilet is important for everyone, access to safe, clean toilets brings particular benefits to women and girls.
"Freed from the need to defecate in the open, they no longer have to suffer the indignity, humiliation and often verbal and physical abuse when relieving themselves," it says.
The government says it becomes more traumatic for women during menstruation, pregnancy and postnatal periods.
"Women and girls don't need toilet facilities just for defecation; they also need privacy and dignity when menstruating. The need for sanitation facilities within homes and in public places, which meet women's physical and psychological demands cannot be over-emphasised," it says.
The Ministry has prepared the note after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, laid stress on "dignity of women" and pitched for making provisions for building toilets wherein women should not defecate in open.
The note says separate toilets at school mean more girls are likely to attend and continue even after puberty to complete their education.
"There is an immediate need to provide adequate number of toilets separately for boys and girls in all schools of the country," it says.
Noting that about 590 million persons in rural areas defecate in the open, the note says the mindset of a major portion of the population habituated to open defecation needs to be changed.
The Centre says many of the rural Indians already have a toilet but prefer to defecate in the open.
"The biggest challenge therefore is triggering behaviour change in vast section of rural population regarding need to use toilets. Changing mindset is very important," it says.
UNICEF reports indicate that it is the poorest quintile of the population which has the least access to sanitation.
"Inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene services keep children especially adolescent girls out of school, and keeps women in poor health and in poverty and destined to bear and raise children who are sick and nutritionally poor," UNICEF has said.
The Centre is vigorously pushing the agenda of sanitation to end the menace of open defecation in the country by 2019, the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Source: The Economic Times
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-24/news/53166748_1_defecation-sanitation-rural-women

Friday, 1 August 2014

Investing in health through hygiene

An improvement in sanitation and cleanliness will eliminate much of the difference in malnutrition between India and the rest of the world, and across Indian States

Historically the greatest advances in longevity and mortality reduction have come not from treatment of individual disease but from public health. This includes modern drainage and sewerage systems (sewage treatment plants), drinking water systems that produce and deliver disease-free water and solid waste disposal systems. The current position is illustrated by the low proportion of the population with access to improved sanitation facilities. The impact of this neglect is reflected in two well-known facts; one, ‘Delhi belly’ is infamous throughout the world and the Delhi middle class has to use water filters to protect itself from tap water-borne disease. And two, India is still home to communicable and vector borne diseases that have been eliminated in most countries outside sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the National Sample Survey of 2004-05, 1.9 per cent of Indian households defined themselves as hungry for some part of the year. Based on the same survey, the Planning Commission determined the proportion of poor according to the then prevailing national poverty line in 2004-05, which was between 21.8 per cent and 27.5 per cent. Malnutrition in children under three years of age as measured by the National Family health survey 2005-06 (NFHS 3) was much higher. Stunted and underweight children constituted 38.4 per cent and 45.9 per cent of children under three. The cross-State correlation between poverty rates and malnutrition rates was around 0.7 (using either Mixed Reference Period or Uniform Reference Period based estimates). At least 30 per cent of this cross-State variation in nutritional status of children was therefore totally uncorrelated with the variation of poverty rates across States.
Little improvement in malnutrition

The improvement in the nutrition status of children has also been disappointing. Over the seven years between 1998-99 and 2005-06, malnutrition has declined by only 1.1 per cent points while stunting has declined by 7.1 per cent points. This compares with a 4.3 per cent point decline in the poverty rate between 1999-2000 and 2004-05 (MRP). Though stunting has declined at a marginally faster annual rate (1.0 per cent) than poverty (0.9 per cent), the decline in the percentage of underweight children is minuscule. The implication is drawn that existing policies and programmes are not making a significant dent on malnutrition and need to be improved. To do this, however, we need to first find out what are the important factors responsible for malnutrition.
 Existing policies and programmes have not made a significant dent on malnutrition, and need to be improved 
Mixing up issues of hunger, average availability of food/cereals (or calorie deficiency), poverty and malnutrition, can lead to serious diagnostic errors and ineffective policies that make little dent on these problems. Virmani 2007 (Virmani, Arvind, The Sudoku of Growth, Poverty and Malnutrition: Lessons For Lagging States, Working Paper No. 2/2007-PC, Planning Commission, July 2007 http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/wrkpapers/rpwpf.htm) concluded that the most important determinant of the variation of malnutrition across Indian States was public health deficiencies as measured by access to improved sanitation and drinking water. That is, the weakening of the absorptive capacity of the stomach due to gastrointestinal diseases and germs played a much more significant role in malnutrition than the availability of cereals which are the focus of the PDS system and ‘right to food’ advocates. The paper also suggested that basic public health information, nutritional knowledge and availability about nutritional foods may also play a role.
Das Gupta et al (Das Gupta, Monica, Rajendra Shukla, T.V. Somanathan, and K.K Datta, 2009. How Might India’s Public Health Systems be Strengthened? Washington DC: The World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5140) argued that the fact that 25 per cent of stunted Indian children were in the highest wealth quintile reflected the burden of morbidity even among the affluent. WHO estimated that half of malnutrition is attributable to infections arising from poor sanitation, not lack of food.
There are three broad aspects of malnutrition that must be kept in mind when devising strategies for dealing with it. One, the ability to access such food items. This depends on household income or ability to sustain certain levels of consumption. The rate of poverty (head count ratio) is the standard indicator. Other possible indicators could include assets such as land and housing.
Two, household/family knowledge and information about good nutrition. This includes knowledge about the locally available foods that are good from the nutrition perspective. This can be based on,
(a) traditional age-old knowledge (old wives’ tales);
(b) ability to read, coupled with the availability of appropriate reading material on nutrition;
(c) access to media such as newspapers, radio and TV, coupled with propagation of such information on the radio; and
(d) special programmes such as ICDS that directly educate mothers about child-rearing and nutrition.
State of health

Three, the state of health. Even if the right kind of food and nutrition is available, a child may not be able to consume and/or absorb it properly due to ill health or sickness. For instance, a child suffering from diarrhoea much of the time is unlikely to be able to ingest much good and healthy food and absorb the nutrition, even if it is freely available and provided to the child by the mother/parents. Historically, it has been demonstrated across many countries that public health measures like clean drinking water, sanitation, sewerage, control of communicable and epidemic diseases and public health education play an important role in reducing mortality rates at every age and across gender. In the Indian environment, access to water and toilets, breast feeding (to impart immunity in an unhealthy environment), access to sound health advice/treatment, prevalence of vaccination and availability of vitamin supplements are possible indicators.
Virmani (2007) analysis showed that household access to toilets, breast-feeding of infants and vaccination of children has a significant effect in reducing child malnutrition. These variables explained 85 per cent of the cross-State variation in malnutrition. Nutrition variables were either not significant or had the opposite of the expected effect, indicating problems with the programmes. Expenditure on the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) appeared to have an uncertain effect, probably because it was effective in some States and not effective in others.
India is an outlier in terms of malnutrition in cross-country plots of malnutrition against per capita GDP. Correspondingly, India is way significantly worse than countries at its level of per capita GDP in terms of household access to toilets. It is however close to the trend line with respect to access to improved drinking water sources. Inadequacy of public health measures results in prevalence of gastro-intestinal infections (even if they do not manifest themselves in a visible disease or ill-health), that inhibit the absorption and use of food in the body. Even if enough food is available, the child may not be able to ingest or absorb it properly, resulting in under-nutrition.
Virmani 2012 (Virmani, Arvind, Undernourishment of Children: Causes of Cross-country Variation, Working paper No. WsWp 4/2012, October 2012 — Nutrition12oct.docx at https://sites.google.com/site/drarvindvirmani/) analysed the cross-country variation in child malnutrition. The quality of public health, as measured by variables such as access to better sanitation and improved water sources, is an important factor in explaining cross-country variations in the prevalence of malnutrition and inter-State variations across India. It also confirms the importance of primary education, particularly of females, in helping spread information and knowledge about personal hygiene, sanitation and nutrition. Much more could however be done through appropriate school curricula and media campaigns to promote public health education.
The analysis suggests that poverty is not an independent cause of malnutrition, but explains it to the extent that it is unrelated to unsanitary conditions. The proportion of adults having primary education also tends to reduce malnutrition. The primary completion rates for females is, however, more significant than for both male and female together, suggesting the relatively greater importance of female literacy.
Dean Spears and Lamba (2013), a village level study in India, showed the negative effect of open defecation on child stunting and wasting, thus confirming the importance of household access to toilets on the nutrition status of children (Spears, Dean and Sneh Lamba, Effects of Early-Life Exposure to Sanitation on Childhood Cognitive Skills: Evidence from India’s Total Sanitation Campaign, policy research Working Paper, 6659, World Bank, October 2013.) Jeffery Hammer et al have carried out micro-experiments that confirm these findings for the high income city of Delhi.
In conclusion, an improvement in sanitation and cleanliness as envisaged by the government’s “Swach Bharat” programme will eliminate much of the difference in malnutrition between India and the rest of the world and across the Indian States. The increased subsidies envisaged under the Food Security Act would reduce malnutrition more effectively if spent on sewers, sewage processing and garbage processing plants.
Source: The Hindu

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Poor Sanitation in India May Afflict Well-Fed Children With Malnutrition

SHEOHAR DISTRICT, India — He wore thick black eyeliner to ward off the evil eye, but Vivek, a tiny 1-year-old living in a village of mud huts and diminutive people, had nonetheless fallen victim to India’s great scourge of malnutrition.
His parents seemed to be doing all the right things. His mother still breast-fed him. His family had six goats, access to fresh buffalo milk and a hut filled with hundreds of pounds of wheat and potatoes. The economy of the state where he lives has for years grown faster than almost any other. His mother said she fed him as much as he would eat and took him four times to doctors, who diagnosed malnutrition. Just before Vivek was born in this green landscape of small plots and grazing water buffalo near the Nepali border, the family even got electricity.
So why was Vivek malnourished?
It is a question being asked about children across India, where a long economic boom has done little to reduce the vast number of children who are malnourished and stunted, leaving them with mental and physical deficits that will haunt them their entire lives. Now, an emerging body of scientific studies suggest that Vivek and many of the 162 million other children under the age of 5 in the world who are malnourished are suffering less a lack of food than poor sanitation.
Like almost everyone else in their village, Vivek and his family have no toilet, and the district where they live has the highest concentration of people who defecate outdoors. As a result, children are exposed to a bacterial brew that often sickens them, leaving them unable to attain a healthy body weight no matter how much food they eat.
“These children’s bodies divert energy and nutrients away from growth and brain development to prioritize infection-fighting survival,” said Jean Humphrey, a professor of human nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “When this happens during the first two years of life, children become stunted. What’s particularly disturbing is that the lost height and intelligence are permanent.”
Two years ago, Unicef, the World Health Organization and the World Bank released a major report on child malnutrition that focused entirely on a lack of food. Sanitation was not mentioned. Now, Unicef officials and those from other major charitable organizations said in interviews that they believe that poor sanitation may cause more than half of the world’s stunting problems.
“Our realization about the connection between stunting and sanitation is just emerging,” said Sue Coates, chief of water, sanitation and hygiene at Unicef India. “At this point, it is still just an hypothesis, but it is an incredibly exciting and important one because of its potential impact.”
This research has quietly swept through many of the world’s nutrition and donor organizations in part because it resolves a great mystery: Why are Indian children so much more malnourished than their poorer counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa?
A child raised in India is far more likely to be malnourished than one from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe or Somalia, the planet’s poorest countries. Stunting affects 65 million Indian children under the age of 5, including a third of children from the country’s richest families.
This disconnect between wealth and malnutrition is so striking that economists have concluded that economic growth does almost nothing to reduce malnutrition.
Half of India’s population, or at least 620 million people, defecate outdoors. And while this share has declined slightly in the past decade, an analysis of census data shows that rapid population growth has meant that most Indians are being exposed to more human waste than ever before.
In Sheohar, for instance, a toilet-building program between 2001 and 2011 decreased the share of households without toilets to 80 percent from 87 percent, but population growth meant that exposure to human waste rose by half.
“The difference in average height between Indian and African children can be explained entirely by differing concentrations of open defecation,” said Dean Spears, an economist at the Delhi School of Economics. “There are far more people defecating outside in India more closely to one another’s children and homes than there are in Africa or anywhere else in the world.”
Not only does stunting contribute to the deaths of a million children under the age of 5 each year, but those who survive suffer cognitive deficits and are poorer and sicker than children not affected by stunting. They also may face increased risks for adult illnesses like diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
“India’s stunting problem represents the largest loss of human potential in any country in history, and it affects 20 times more people in India alone than H.I.V./AIDS does around the world,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, vice president for research and policy at the Public Health Foundation of India.
India is an increasingly risky place to raise children. The country’s sanitation and air quality are among the worst in the world. Parasitic diseases and infections like tuberculosis, often linked with poor sanitation, are most common in India. More than one in four newborn deaths occur in India.
Open defecation has long been an issue in India. Some ancient Hindu textsadvised people to relieve themselves far from home, a practice that Gandhi sought to curb.
“The cause of many of our diseases is the condition of our lavatories and our bad habit of disposing of excreta anywhere and everywhere,” Gandhi wrotein 1925.
Other developing countries have made huge strides in improving sanitation. Just 1 percent of Chinese and 3 percent of Bangladeshis relieve themselves outside compared with half of Indians. Attitudes may be just as important as access to toilets. Constructing and maintaining tens of millions of toilets in India would cost untold billions, a price many voters see no need to pay — arecent survey found that many people prefer going to the bathroom outside.
Few rural households build the sort of inexpensive latrines that have all but eliminated outdoor waste in neighboring Bangladesh.
Photo

Clothes washers work near a sewage pipe in the Ganges in Varanasi, India, where no city has a comprehensive treatment system.CreditDaniel Berehulak for The New York Times

One analysis found that government spending on toilets pays for itself in increased tax receipts from greater productivity, but the math works only if every member of a family who gets a toilet uses it.
 “We need a cultural revolution in this country to completely change people’s attitudes toward sanitation and hygiene,” said Jairam Ramesh, an economist and former sanitation minister.
India’s government has for decades tried to resolve the country’s stubborn malnutrition problems by distributing vast stores of subsidized food. But more and better food has largely failed to reverse early stunting, studies have repeatedly shown.
India now spends about $26 billion annually on food and jobs programs, and less than $400 million on improving sanitation — a ratio of more than 60 to 1.
“We need to reverse that ratio entirely,” Dr. Laxminarayan said.
Lack of food is still an important contributor to malnutrition for some children, and some researchers say the field’s sudden embrace of sanitation has been overdone. “In South Asia, a more important factor driving stunting is diet quality,” said Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, a director of the Center for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Studies are underway in Bangladesh, Kenya and Zimbabwe to assess the share of stunting attributable to poor sanitation. “Is it 50 percent? Ninety percent? That’s a question worth answering,” said Dr. Stephen Luby, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who is overseeing a trial in Bangladesh that is expected to report its results in 2016. “In the meantime, I think we can all agree that it’s not a good idea to raise children surrounded by poop.”
Better sanitation in the West during the 19th and early 20th centuries led to huge improvements in health long before the advent of vaccines and antibiotics, and researchers have long known that childhood environments play a crucial role in child death and adult height.
The present research on gut diseases in children has focused on a condition resulting from repeated bacterial infections that flatten intestinal linings, reducing by a third the ability to absorb nutrients. A recent study of starving children found that they lacked the crucial gut bacteria needed to digest food.
In a little-discussed but surprising finding, Muslim children in India are 17 percent more likely to survive infancy than Hindus, even though Muslims are generally poorer and less educated. This enormous difference in infant mortality is explained by the fact that Muslims are far more likely to use latrines and live next to others also using latrines, a recent analysis found.
So widespread housing discrimination that confines many Muslims to separate slums may protect their children from increased exposure to the higher levels of waste in Hindu communities and, as a result, save thousands of Indian Muslim babies from death each year.
Just building more toilets, however, may not be enough to save India’s children.
Phool Mati lives in a neighborhood in Varanasi with 12 public toilets, but her 1-year-old grandson, Sandeep, is nonetheless severely malnourished. His mother tries to feed him lentils, milk and other foods as often as she can, but Sandeep is rarely hungry because he is so often sick, Ms. Mati said.
“We all use the bathroom,” she said.
The effluent pipe that served the bathroom building is often clogged. Raw sewage seeps into an adjoining Hindu temple, and, during the monsoon season, it flooded the neighborhood’s homes. The matron of the toilet facility charges two rupees for each use, so most children relieve themselves directly into open drains that run along a central walkway.
No Indian city has a comprehensive waste treatment system, and most Indian rivers are open sewers as a result. But Varanasi, India’s oldest and holiest city, is so awash in human waste that its decrepit condition became a national issue in recent elections. The city’s sewage plants can handle only about 20 percent of the sewage generated in the city, said Ramesh Chopra of Ganga Seva Abhiyanam, a trust for cleaning the river. The rest sloshes into the Ganges or fetid ponds and pits.
Millions of pilgrims bathe in the Ganges along Varanasi’s ancient riverfront, but a stream of human waste — nearly 75 million liters per day — flows directly into the river just above the bathing ghats, steps leading down to the river. Many people wash or brush their teeth beside smaller sewage outlets.
Much of the city’s drinking water comes from the river, and half of Indian households drink from contaminated supplies.
“India’s problems are bigger than just open defecation and a lack of toilets,” Dr. Laxminarayan said.

Source: The Newyork Times
 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/world/asia/poor-sanitation-in-india-may-afflict-well-fed-children-with-malnutrition.html?_r=0

Saturday, 12 July 2014

World Population Day- 2014

World Population Day- 2014-Theme: Investing in Young People

Overpopulation China
China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil and the US account for half of the world's peopleReuters
Today marks World Population Day, an annual event observed on 11 July to raise awareness of global population issues.
Established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, it was inspired by the interest in Five Billion Day on 11 July 1987 – approximately the date when the world's population reached five billion.
This year, the theme is "Investing in Young People."
What is the history behind the day?
As the world population edged to 7 billion in 2011 – up from 2.5 billion in 1950 – it has had profound implications for development, with effects on sustainability, urbanisation, access to health services and youth empowerment.
In 1989, the UN recommended that, to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the worldwide as World Population Day.
Today, around 1.8 billion young people are building the foundation of the world's future. However, many young continue to grapple with poverty, inequality and human rights violations that prevent them from reaching their personal and collective potential.
Facts about the global population
  • As of 1 January 2014, the world's population was estimated to be 7,137,661,030, and increases by 2.3 people every second.
  • The total number of people who have ever lived has been estimated by the Population Bureau to be around 108 billion.
  • The world population is estimated to have reached one billion in 1804, with two, three and four billion in 1927, 1960 and 1974 respectively.
  • These figures mean that about one fifteenth of all the people who have ever lived are alive today.
  • Vatican City (800) and Nauru (9,378) are the states with the lowest populations.
  • 30% of the world's population generally eat with chopsticks.
  • China, India, USA, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil account for half the world's people. More than one in three people are Chinese or Indian.
Overcrowding
Overcrowding: An apartment complex in the Quarry Bay area of Hong KongGetty
What are the risks of overpopulation?
Food: Every day, 25,000 people die of malnutrition and hunger-related diseases, of which around 18,000 are under the age of five. Food production and distribution is stretched as the population increases to an unsustainable level.
Water shortages: One billion people across the globe lack access to sufficient water for consumption, sanitation and agriculture, as aquifers are depleted faster than they can be replenished and glaciers melt.
Oil and gas: There is a finite amount of fossil fuels and it is being used up at an incredible rate. The concept "Peak Oil" means that in the future, perhaps between 2015 and 2020, world oil production will max out and then start to decline.
Air quality: Childhood asthma rates have risen in the past two decades, as the population grows and the number of factories and cars increase. Those in undeveloped countries are also at risks, where people depend on burning wood and dung for cooking and heat.
Ozone Layer: Chemicals from human industries, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), destroy ozone. Some of the most dangerous CFCs have been banned in many countries, but their long-lasting nature means they continue to deplete the ozone layer. Currently, the layer is being destroyed at a rate of about 4% per decade.
Overcrowding: Tightly-packed housing or the sharing of a home between too many people can lead to problems with hygiene, violence, congestion, unemployment, air pollution, social problems and tension. There is an increased risk of the spread of infectious diseases.
Conflicts and Wars: Some of the most brutal and persistent conflicts and wars of the past decades have been driven by overpopulation and disputes over resources. The 1994 Rwandan genocide, the mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu by members of the Hutu majority, was partly influenced by environmental factors to do with overpopulation - such as land pressure and unsustainable agricultural practices.
As the world population edged to 7 billion people in 2011 (up from 2.5 billion in 1950), it has had profound implications for development. A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment.
In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day. 
Today’s 1.8 billion young people are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values, and building the foundation of the world’s future. Yet too many young people continue to grapple with poverty, inequality and human rights violations that prevent them from reaching their personal and collective potential.
On 2014 World Population Day, we call for investments in support of the largest-ever generation of youth. 

source: http://www.un.org/en/events/populationday/
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/world-population-day-2014-history-facts-risks-overpopulation-please-publish-midnight-1456183

Sunday, 6 July 2014

“The Curse” A Documentary Film by HEEALS



“The Curse” A Documentary Film by HEEALS


Through the medium of Documentary Film and Art HEAALS is trying to create awareness among the masses about Girl Child Education, Taboos & Myths related to Menstrual Hygiene, Sanitation and Safe Drinking Water and trying to relate how Girl Child education and health is directly suffering due to bad sanitation facilities, unsafe drinking water, Menstrual Hygiene and lack of knowledge to obtain the same.  Also communicate and advocates for the need to address the fact that only 44% of schools in India have separate toilets for girls causing 23 % of girls to dropout of schools due to lack of toilet facilities. Some schools only have a single toilet that is so unclean - and that carries not only the risk of disease but the risk of sexual harassment - that girls opt to drop out of school. This is particularly the case with adolescent girls, who may lack access to a vending machine at school with sanitary napkins during menstruation, and during menstruation days due to unavailability of toilets in the schools they skip the school every month for about 5 or 6 days and later on this results in dropping out of school due to absenteeism, and keeping a pace with studies. 

The 4-minute, 5-second documentary, on the theme Water Sanitation, Menstrual Hygiene and Girl Education, features the life of a young girl and her experiences at home with regard to sanitation and hygiene. Date of release of the documentary film “The Curse “on Menstrual Hygiene was June 30th, 2014.

The film trying to showcase and relate the issue of sanitation and Menstrual hygiene with Girl health & Education and if proper Sanitation facilities and hygiene measures are implemented and followed the girls can achieve their dreams and become successful in their career and can also play a major role in country development



Please Click on the following link to Watch 

Documentary Film :- 

Watch Documentary Film At 






For suggestions , feedback related to the documentary please contact us at communications@heeals.org 
To support our work and help us in our efforts Visit us at:- http://heeals.org
Blog:- http://heeals.blogspot.in/

Monday, 23 June 2014

Why do millions of Indians defecate in the open?

It's early morning and local commuters are queuing up for tickets at the Kirti Nagar railway station in the Indian capital, Delhi.
Along the tracks, another crowd is gathering - each person on his own, separated by a modest distance. They are among the 48% of Indians who do not have access to proper sanitation.
Coming from a slum close-by, they squat among the few trees and bushes along the railway tracks and defecate in the open.
To many, this is a daily morning ritual despite the hazards of contracting diseases such as diarrhoea and hepatitis.
It can be even more hazardous for women since each time a woman uses the outdoors to relieve herself, she faces a danger of sexual assault.
Recently two teenage girls from the state of Uttar Pradesh were gang-raped and found hanging from a tree after they left their village home to go to the toilet. Their house, like hundreds of millions of others in the country, did not have any facilities.
'No privacy'
A new World Health Organisation (WHO) report says more than half a billion people in India still "continue to defecate in gutters, behind bushes or in open water bodies, with no dignity or privacy".
Access to sanitation is a challenge that India's politicians want to tackle - both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised to put an end to open defecation in their 2014 general election manifestos.
During his campaign, Narendra Modi, BJP's newly-elected prime minister, promised: "Toilets first, temples later".
And former rural development minister Jairam Ramesh of the Congress party had stressed that "practicing good hygiene is as important as performing good puja" (act of worship in Hinduism).

    Political parties have pledged to end open defecation

India's government offers cash incentives to subsidise construction of toilets. It has also initiated hygiene and sanitation awareness campaigns, such as the "No Toilet, No Bride" slogan launched in the state of Haryana in 2005, urging brides to reject a groom if he did not have a lavatory at home.
The Gates Foundation too has offered grants to create latrines that are not connected to water, sewer or electricity and to improve the treatment of human waste.
'Lack of focus'
The exhibits at a recent "toilet fair" organised by the Foundation in Delhi included a lavatory with a photovoltaic roof-top that powers a reactor breaking down excrements into fertiliser, and another one which came equipped with an automatic sterilisation system and a generator turning the moisture into water.
Apart from poverty and lack of lavatories, one of the reasons often cited to explain open defecation in India is the ingrained cultural norm making the practice socially accepted in some parts of the society.
"Just building toilets is not going to solve the problem, because open defecation is a practice acquired from the time you learn how to walk. When you grow up in an environment where everyone does it, even if later in life you have access to proper sanitation, you will revert back to it," says Sue Coates, chief of Wash (water, sanitation and hygiene) at Unicef.
India will be free of open defecation only when "every Indian household, every village, every part of Indian society will accept the need to use toilets and commit to do so", she says.
Professor at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology Meera Mehta says the strategies implemented so far may not have the expected impact because of a "lack of focus".
"With the right policies and political attention, India can be free from open defecation within 10 years.
Source : BBC News

Sunday, 15 June 2014

"HAND WASH -AN ART"

WASH Exercise


#heeals handwash-an art campaign

#heeals handwash-an art campaign


#heeals handwash-an art campaign
#heeals handwash-an art campaign
#heeals handwash-an art campaign


#heeals handwash-an art campaign



#heeals handwash-an art campaign

#heeals handwash-an art campaign
#heeals handwash-an art campaign

#heeals handwash-an art campaign



To make Hand wash with soap fun loving and friendly among children. we are continuously  creating and adopting innovative WASH Exercise such as games ,drama ,live shows ,drawing & painting competition etc.
We initiated “Drawing Competition” in 10 schools near National Capital Region .Creating awareness regarding hand wash with soap and adopt good hygiene practice. To bring a good behavior change among the children, the theme of the competition is “HAND WASH IS AN ART”.
Campaign supported by : Soap Box

Picture gallery:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.655876461160836.1073741854.287634107985075&type=1