It is the election season in India. The entire nation is buzzing with the same discussion, and everyone has their own opinion about the forthcoming results. But amidst all this drama, the real issues like health, sanitation, availability of clean water, proper roads and medicines lie forgotten, which is my biggest concern.
No politician, no party, not even common citizens have said anything about the crisis which India is facing currently. People are talking about unemployment, Rafael, black money which the existing government, in the last parliamentary elections, promised to return, and similar such promises which the government failed to deliver. But, to me, all these are secondary issues.
Yes, there have been some talks about safer and well-constructed roads and sanitation, but not at the level it should have been. I know that the main agenda on which this election is being contested is ‘Nationalism‘. But how can you be a nationalist when you are unwell on most of the days, and suffering from protein deficiency in the rest?
Does providing proper health care facilities and safe roads not count as nationalism? Let me put forth some statistics which will show us that we are in dire need of help and attention. According to WHO, India had an estimated 31,705,000 diabetics in the millennium year, which is likely to grow by over 100%, to 79,441,000, by 2030.
According to a survey by The Hindu newspaper, 80% of Indian diets are protein deficient. 60 babies died due to encephalitis and lack of oxygen in Gorakhpur. In India, approximately 70% of all reproductive diseases are caused due to poor menstrual hygiene. 7 of the top 10 most polluted cities are in India, including the capital city, Delhi, and my city, Lucknow.
Adulteration of milk by mixing urea, detergents and other substances, especially during the festival season is a regular practice now, which sadly most of us have made peace with. 19% of the global population, without access to clean water, lives in India. There are thousands of other issues directly related to our health, which we can literally do nothing about. Such issues receive no attention whatsoever and our media and politicians don’t bother either.
I have tried very hard to understand why 130 crore Indians talk about everything but these pressing issues with life-threatening consequences! I understand our love and affection towards our armed forces and our resentment towards our neighbouring countries, but we breathe the same air which is getting poisoned every passing second.
I hope that after these elections, our focus can be directed towards more important issues like air, water, and food. If we don’t realise this soon enough, we might be down and out. We will have nothing left for the generations to come, who are going to take this nation forward.