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Better Hygiene through Better Education

Solving the problems of poor sanitation may require more than just improvements in infrastructure: education regarding better hygiene practices is important as well.

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It is a well-known fact that, in India, there are many slums with very poor sanitary conditions. To help solve this problem, many organizations, including the government and several NGOs, have contributed to the construction of latrines and other infrastructural imporvements in many poor areas of that country.

However, sometimes these efforts face an unexpected obstacle: many people, accostumed to their old habits and poor access to sanitation facilities, don't take into using the newly-built facilites as would be expected. Instead, they continue to do as they always did, defecating on rivers and maintaining other ill-advised practices even when new latrines and toilets are available. Sometimes the new structures are converted to provide other creative uses by their communities, but which don't help their sanitation at all.

To deal with this problem, several forms of education have been considered to teach people of the problems poor hygiene habits bring to themselves and their communities. Commonly, these lessons are offered using visuals and other creative tools, such as putting refuse into a glass of drinking water as a representation of the long-term effects of people defecating on rivers instead of latrines.

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Education is very important to get people happy about sanitation and safety.