Guwahati, Saturday, September 22, 2012
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Public health promotion activities in slums
Staff reporter
 GUWAHATI, Sept 21 – As part of its project ‘Linking up Urban Poor of Guwahati City for Enhancement of Socio-environmental Situation and Livelihood’, the Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection is going to launch a series of public health promotion activities in two slum areas of the city, at Bhaskarnagar and Sivanagar from next week.

In these two slum areas, the Society will hold awareness programmes on environmental hygiene, personal hygiene, water handling, sanitation etc. Around 640 households in the Bhaskarnagar slum near Gauhati Commerce College and around 140 households in the Sivanagar slum near Axom Jatiya Vidyalaya, Noonmati will be covered by the Society.

The ambience in these two slums is typical of the squalor that is prevalent in all the poverty pockets in the capital city. Due to lack of space, most of the families have constructed open toilets that directly carry the excreta to the drains. Dumping of garbage everywhere has added to the polluted environment exposing the residents to different types of health hazards. Though the residents use supply water, the place of collection is dirty and, hence, not safe.

“Many of the slum dwellers suffer from skin diseases, diarrhoea, malaria etc because of the filthy environment,” said Nava Krishna Nath, member of the Society adding that it would take much effort from the Society to make the slum dwellers, most of whom are daily wage labourers, realize the importance of keeping the environment clean.

Apart from the health promotion activities, the Society will hold awareness drives against the bane of child labour by organizing interactive meetings between parents who are sending their children to the Jyoti Kendras. The Society has made an assessment of the needs of children in the Jyoti Kendra at Bhaskarnagar and Sivanagar.

“After holding discussion with all concerned including the students of the two Jyoti Kendras, we decided to extend support in the form of study material, fan, filter etc,” said Nath.

Nath further said that if the parents realize the importance of education, then the children would not be compelled to work.

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