Apropos Dean Pears' article "Getting what you pay for" (August 20), I completely agree with the idea of providing incentives to make sanitation campaigns a success. Though India's social sanitation campaigns through programmes like Nirmal Gram Puraskar have imparted executive powers to panchayati raj institutions and have impacted millions in rural villages, sanitation coverage in still very low. There is a complete lack of awareness and the rural population is not familiar with the benefits of various sanitation schemes at the time of their launch. The government has merely been "pushing" these initiatives on people. But lack of complete information has not had the desired impact. Thus, there is an urgent need to run multiple "awareness campaigns" along with doling out grants to panchayats.
Ashutosh Kumar Mishra Indore
...and focus on cities too
Apart from the obvious hygiene and development benefits obtained from eradicating open defecation in rural India, the case of open defecation in urban dwellings also merits some attention. The Mumbai suburban train network passes through dense slums and it is not uncommon to find people using unused tracks for defecating. Not only is this highly unhygienic since most such slum-dwellers stay in the immediate vicinity, it also makes for an extremely disgusting travel experience for early-morning commuters.
Vikram Johri Mumbai
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