In-Depth Knowledge Of Sanitation
Sanitation is of critical importance in the modern world, nay India. The writer in this week has given a comprehensive picture of sanitation. The study of sociology of sanitation has greater value in the modern complex society. It studies sanitation conditions, the human behaviour and culture regarding sanitation in a scientific way. It identifies the problems and suggests solutions and generates new knowledge about sanitation. The book highlights the meaning, origin, nature, subject matter and importance of sociology of sanitation. Sociology of sanitation is also related to other social sciences as history, economics, sociology, psychology and anthropology. The writer also includes the scientific methods used in the study of sociology of sanitation. In this process he has highlighted the methods of data collection as historical method, observation, interview, questionnaire and case study.
The 296-page book, which is divided into 10 chapters, has clearly shown how caste and religion in Indian society have perpetuated inequalities among people, nay given a low status to people engaged in sanitation. As India is becoming urbanized the need for sanitation is greatest in the slums of developing towns and cities. It also stressed the social responsibility of the corporate sector. Dr Pais being a sociologist and psychologist has ably dealt with the social psychological aspects of sanitation. In this connection, he has not only examined the beliefs and values associated with dirt but also the dirt attitudes, both caste and religious. In the very interesting topic of culture and sanitation he has examined the concepts of purity and impurity which is essential aspect of Hindu social life. In the problems of manual scavenging he has studied health, socio-economic and psychological problems.
The topic, Reinvention of Sanitation in the Modem World, makes an interesting reading where Dr Pais has given the changes that have taken place from ancient times to modem. He has not only elaborately explained the modem technology in sanitation but also highlighted how modem sanitation can be a business for many—whether it is paid toilets, biogas plants or sanitary arts or designs, it can generate employment for many.
The book also includes environmental sanitation, which is the important aspect of sanitation. Besides stressing the importance of sanitation Dr Pais has also dealt with the levels of sanitation i.e. the individual, household and community level. He has also highlighted the important causes of lack of environmental sanitation in India as lack of lack of social responsibility, lack of social awareness about sanitation, lack of education and over-crowded population. The organisation and functioning of public toilets is presented with successful case studies.
The role of the state has been discussed in the topic, State and Sanitation in India. It starts with the sanitation policies, planning and programmes of government at the Central level starting with the Central Rural Sanitation Programme, launched in 1986, to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started by present Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2, 2014. In a nutshell, the book will be useful to students, educators, social workers, social scientists, social planners and policy-makers.
By Ashok Kumar