The greatest challenge a human being has in life is taking care of his/her body. We are responsible for nourishing it, cleaning it (ridding it of waste), moving it, resting it, and protecting it from the elements. Many of us take for granted the comforts we have to protect our bodies from the physical environment. Many have adequate access to food, water, sanitation, and shelter.
For example, I consider myself a well-nourished and healthy person. I have employment, which affords me food to eat and access to health care. I also have access to fresh, safe drinking water and sanitation. I have a place to live to shelter me from harsh effects of the weather. I also have adequate clothing to suit the weather to protect my skin from the environment as well.
However, these things are the stuff of dreams for millions across our country.
The health of a community takes into consideration many factors. The most important among them is hydration with safe drinking water and sanitation. To address this issue, especially among the municipal schools across the country, Coca-Cola has begun the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programme as part of the ‘Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings” initiative of the TERI University and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched in Kolkata.
The WASH programmes (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) aims to reach as many residents of the slums of Kolkata and Chennai. The program wants to develop and implement practices that improve the sanitation, hygiene and hydration of the communities that do not have proper access to these. The initiative aims to help at least 50000 people in low-income settlements and over 300 professionals through WASH Governance studies. This is a one of a kind association which has never been done before that will lead to the healthy development of low-income settlements in the area.
Schools, especially municipal schools across the country are another major thrust area for the program. 2,500 students through 20 municipal schools across India are being targeted through the program.
Programmes such as WASH and the Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings are important activities, essential to those communities that for some reason or the other are unable to get government aid.