Child Life Expectancy in India

Topics: Water, Water supply, Sanitation Pages: 4 (1231 words) Published: May 30, 2011
The Link Between Sanitation and Child Life Expectancy in India Critical Analysis
Patricia Watt
Norquest College

“The expectations are different”, is a statement that Perri Klass makes in her essay entitled “India”(1986). This observation refers to the difference in child life expectancy between Klass’ home in North America, and her current home in India, where she is practicing paediatric medicine. In North America, every child is expected to surpass their parents in life expectancy. Meanwhile, in India, the possibility that children will die young is very real and happens more than necessary. In 1998 alone, approximately 2.5 million children under 5 died in India (Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2000,). What makes this number even more astonishing is that almost all the deaths were preventable. The lack of sanitation leading to deadly water-borne disease in India is the main factor contributing to these extremely high numbers. This essay will explore the role that sanitation has in relation to child life expectancy in India. A base root to sanitation is human hygiene, particularly access to clean water and toiletries. The cost to install a toilet in India is 200 USD (Agoramoorthey&Hsu, 2009). This, to an average American, does not seem like very much money at all. However, when you are a farmer working in rural India making an average of 150 to 225 USD per year (Agoramoorthy & Hsu, 2009), this is a tremendous amount of money. This minimal income is barely enough to maintain basic survival (food, shelter, and clothing), let alone buy a toilet. The government of India, at one time, contributed up to 80% of the cost of purchasing a toilet to promote sanitation, but now the subsidy offered is only 20% (Agoramoorthy & Hsu, 2009). An overall lack of funds is the main contributing reason that only 34% of Indian households have access to a toilet (Agoramoothy & Hsu, 2009). The other 66% of the population is forced to...
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