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In 2012 India was home to six of the 25 largest metropolitan regions in the world. India’s cities have much to offer—a diversity of opportunities, experiences, people, food… There are fascinating places, but the slow rot makes me wonder whether they’re worth staying under this darkness.A recent study shows that used 20 years of data to compare life expectancy in more and less polluted parts of China highlighted that residents in more polluted cities died approximately six years earlier than those in less polluted ones. On a base of 500 million people, that translates to 2.5 billion lost years. A study of this scale and intent in Indian cities would likely lead to very similar results. The heavy price that unsanitary conditions and environmental toxins take over the brains and bodies of children are very much certain in these scenarios. Rich or poor, we breathe the same air and even if opulence people are sipping from bottles of Bisleri, they’re no better off. In essence we’re leaving cities in India and large swathes of the developing world to a generation that will live shorter, unhealthier and less productive lives for no fault of their own.

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We’re quick to point to corrupt, morally bankrupt governments and municipal administrations as the root of our problems, but the real culprits are likely pointing back at us in the mirror. Every plastic wrapper tossed on the street, every Paan spat out on a wall, every plastic water bottle used and discarded add up to an enormous mountain of shit!

Recently in the New York Times explored the link between high rates of child malnutrition in India and the country’s poor sanitation, shedding light on a potential cause of a prolonged problem. For India, the issue is not a lack of food, but rather a lack of toilets for its population—one half of India’s population, at least 620 million people, defecate outside.

The interaction between diarrhea disease and malnutrition is well established. Diarrhea is often caused by a lack of clean water for proper hand-washing. A lack of toilets further exacerbates the problem as stool on the ground contribute to contaminated drinking water and water resources in general.

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Diarrhea prevalence drops substantially only if open defecation is completely eliminated. To eradicate this issue, anyway Government and few NGO’s are undoubtedly taking imperative measures to build toilet in open place. Unfortunately, the toilets that have been built in India have sometimes gone unused or have been used to store tools, grain, or building materials. Therefore to dispose of these precarious situations, changes in social norms and behaviors must change too. This can only happen by spreading awareness or may be through proper education. Hence, government should revamp its national sanitation program to focus less on subsidized toilet construction and more on helping the population understand the benefits of toilets.

Life is too short to see the effects, but too long to take the necessary steps. For the future of next generation, for the future of India, we must take step now…..else life may become too short to live with……..