While the experts recommend washing of hands with soap and water as one of the basic protective measures against coronavirus, a survey done by the National Statistics Office (NSO) shows it’s not a habit that comes easily to most Indians.
The survey, the results of which were made public in a report titled ‘Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Condition’ in November 2019, covered 1,06,838 households (63,736 in rural areas and 43,102 in urban areas).
According to the survey, while members of most households (99 per cent) wash their hands before a meal, only those in 35.8 per cent households do so with “water and soap/detergent”.
While members of 56 per cent urban households reported washing their hands with water and soap before eating, only 25.3 per cent households in rural areas did so.
The percentage of households whose members practise hand washing ‘with water and soap/detergent’ before a meal was found to be lowest in Jharkhand (10.6 per cent) and the highest in Sikkim (87.1 per cent).
Then, there are households where people wash their hands before a meal, but not with water and soap/detergent.
About 60.4 per cent households — 69.9 per cent rural and 42.1 per cent urban — used only water to wash their hands before eating.
About 2.7 per cent households – 3.5 per cent rural, 1.3 per cent urban -used “water and ash/mud/sand etc.” to wash hands. There were about one per cent households that did not wash hands at all before a meal.
Source : Indian Express