HYGIENE is a major factor in causing various diseases, most notably diarrhea and intestinal worm infections, for example infectious diarrhea resulted in about 0.7 million deaths in children under five years old in 2011 and 250 million lost school days. It can also lead to malnutrition and stunted growth in children. 2,000 children under the age of five die every day, one every 40 seconds, from diarrhea.
According to the Public Health Association, only 53 per cent of the population wash hands with soap after defecation, 38 per cent wash hands with soap before eating and only 30 per cent wash hands with soap before preparing food.
Health is the basic human right of all the human beings. Health contributes to a person's basic capability to function. Denial of health is not only denial of 'good life–chance' but also denial of fairness and justice.
The universal declaration of human rights stated in article 25: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and his family ....' (United Nations 1948). The preamble to the world health organization (WHO) constitution affirms that it is one of the fundamental rights of every human being to enjoy the highest attainable standards of health.
Article21 of the constitution of India also identifies health as an integral aspect of human life. The health problem created by Hygiene is also undeniable. But what is denied here is that, the problem is related to only rural or urban poor class. The problem is equally related to the elite.
From a broader perspective, health and health care needs to become parts of the social world. From a holistic perspective, active citizenship needs to be an integral part of the social world. This social world is not confined to rural or urban, elite or masses, rich or poor, or even literate or illiterate.