The quick spread of swine Flu in this month reflected in increased hospitalization and few deaths across India, brings us back to sanitation standards of our state, society and ourselves. One of the most effective remedy against swine flu is to wash your hands many times a day and specially before eating foods. By this simple exercise the spread of virus is restrained to a great extent. The need to wash your hands even otherwise, or you can say in non-swine-flu periods is indisputable. Your Mom and Dad would have advised you to wash your hands every time you are going to eat food.
How ever all of us would have noticed that whenever we are in hurry, the first casualty is a hand wash. You can notice this, in marriages and other social functions particularly. As soon as the food is laid out we rush to have it without washing our hands, despite the fact that we would have shaken hands with scores of persons before picking a plate. We would have used mobiles, used cars or other vehicles or even polished our shoes before stating for the function. But we suddenly forget all this and want to quickly finish food. But, what is the hurry? Why can’t we wash our hands? Why is it so difficult despite being so obvious?
Last month, I was attending the 16th World Toilet Summit last month in New Delhi at Vigyan Bbhawan. The crusader of toilets, Jack Sim from Singapore gave a long but very impressive lecture and presentation to 300 odd participants at this conference. He told us in detail about the health and hygiene and also the pitfalls of not washing our hands before eating food and while coming out of washroom. Everybody listened in rapt attention. All were impressed by his factual arguments and nodded many a times. Then the lunch break was announced and people started to go out.
I too came out and moved in the direction of washroom to wash my hand. I was in fact even more motivated subsequent to speech of ‘Mr Toilet’ Jack Sim. I reached the washroom thinking there would be a huge queue by participants. But, I soon realized that I had company of just two to three persons. I was little surprised and came out thinking, where people had gone? Were there other washrooms too?
Thinking of all these things, I arrived at the dinning hall and got more answers than I was willing to digest. There was a huge que for the buffet lunch. Actually, people had rushed out of the conference hall to land staright in the food queues. They did not want to waste time in washing their hands. They had appreciated lectures of Mr Toilet, but that did not mean that they were going to follow that immediately. They had their own conditioning of mind for not washing their hands even in the dining hall of World Toilet Summit, notwithstanding sufficient food and sufficient time to savor that. I was really disappointed to see all this. But I could at least smile at my own instinct to wash my hands, bettered even more by the advocacy of Mr Toilet. I smiled and waited for my turn to get the food. I had the immense satisfaction to have the food with clean hands! So simple, yet so important. Thanks Amma and Papa for inculcating this habit in me. Thanks Mr Toilet for strengthening that.