Few years back United Nations declared that basic human right is access to non-contaminated water and sanitation. However if the reports of present time are to be believed then somewhere around 663 million people across the world have no access to adequate drinking water and 2.4 billion lack adequate toilets. Recently the member states of the United Nations have mutually agreed for ‘The New Sustainable Development Goals’. However, it is in the new goal to ‘ensure access to water and sanitation for all’ for which this interconnectedness is most apparent. 2030 Development Agenda is full of water and its related issues followed by sanitation and hygiene.
Sachin Tendulkar, cricket icon and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched an initiative on Monday which is aimed at improving hygiene among children in South Asia, where millions have no access to toilets. Sri Lankan cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan was also present At the launch ceremony. They both took time out to play cricket with school students.
Sachin is also the active partner of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Sachin is promoting the ‘wash in school’ drive so as to bring down the death toll rate from poor sanitation.
He encouraged children how to use soap and water to cleanse their hands before having every meal so as to avoid the risk of catching any disease. The official twitter handle of UNICEF Sri Lanka quoted Tendulkar saying, “My mother never allowed me to eat before washing hands! We must ensure all children learn such habits.”
— UNICEF Sri Lanka (@UNICEF_SriLanka) October 12, 2015
As per UNICEF, the underlying cause behind the death of children under the age of 5 is water and sanitation diseases which are diarrhoea and other fecal-oral diseases. Without access to proper sanitation thousands of children fall ill and die every 24 hours due to the diseases which can very well be prevented and cured.
In many regions throughout the world, girls do not attend the school so that they fetch water as they do not have provision of proper space to be used especially during the days when they menstruate. These all issues some way or the other leads to water-borne diseases.
As per the new evidence from the World Bank, “investing in water and sanitation for the poorest 20 per cent of a population yields greater economic returns than investing in the other quintiles and thus has the potential to reduce societal inequalities.”
While Sachin Tendulkar himself tweeted, “I’m batting for @UNICEF against diarrhoeal diseases in e second innings of my life. With #cricket I had 11 in my team but in fighting diarrhoeal diseases we are all team players!”
It is the high time when people of the world start working for this goal and instead not consider it as a business: the most disadvantaged should be given the first preference, or get ready for losing the gains made painstakingly in the last 15 years and jeopardize the future. Time and Tide waits for None.