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Its "Global Handwashing Day" today!

WTF? And, whats next? My left hand is already itching!! Should I wait?


Ketan said…
Hi Saimukundhan!

Nice to see two posts coming from you simultaneously. Is this Diwali bonus? ;)

And your left hand is itchy? One of the bloggers has blogged about World breast cancer awareness day! ;)

But I've not watched any of the two movies. Could only say that A.We (nice name!) has been praised by everyone who's watched it.

As regards your this post, I too don't understand the purpose behind this day. But possibly in Western countries, it could be raising awareness, especialls among school-children helping them form good habits. Probably it also helps direct funds and media campaigning to a single cause. Also actually, hand-washing (at least in the medical field) does require a bit of learning! Like, for it to be effective, the contact time should be at least 20 seconds! Also, friction is more important than amount of soap used or lather formed! :)

However, I would never remotely undermine the role of hand washing in preventing many infectious diseases and deaths. But in India, definitely such days become a farce with no tangible results. And still worse, they come as multiple choice questions in the PG entrance exams!

And specifically regarding hand washing, the story behind discovery of its protective role is very interesting. In light of the fact that the doctors at that time were ignorant of existence of microorganisms, had made the acceptance of the theory that hand washing could prevent post-pregnancy infections all the more difficult. Imagine, in those days doctors and midwives used to conduct deliveries with bare hands! Same was true of dissection of dead bodies! Not sure of performing of surgeries. All these are unthinkable of today. But the doctor who discovered the fact about hand washing was ridiculed, and his idea was never accepted in his lifetime. :( Truly, his idea had remained a neglected serendipity!

I've not asked you to read even any of my posts in a long time, but I highly recommend your going through the above article. It is a very moving story, and very well illustrates, how personal prejudices, overconfidence in one's knowledge, orthodoxy and inability to admit one's mistakes/deficiencies have always been the bane of our society. :(

Hope things change for better in our lifetimes, at least!

BTW, it's also said that too much cleanliness during childhood, specifically, nonexposure to dust can cause allergic diseases like asthma! ;)

G Saimukundhan said…
@ Ketan

I find these "special days" a bit difficult to digest. Creating awareness? It does. Yeah, I agree, but these so called days goes a bit overboard, with the purpose lost but the point remembered. It creates more hype and less of awareness.

What should be a part of our system, our education, and our life on a normal course, are made to look like exceptional stuff, and reserved for a special day. Like Diwali; 'Diwali brings happiness!" (What a crap).

I admit that I take both sides in these things, wherein we need special days for special memories, but when stretched a bit too far, it is rank disgusting. (Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Friendsday, Friendship Day, Post DAy, Post Office Day, and I am not joking).

Nice to have some extra input on the topic (as usual)

Ketan said…

Don't get angry, but I think interacting with you I tend to assume a very reserved tone. Which is not to mean, I don't end up conveying what I would want to. But so, when I 'talk' with you, I tend to be very circumspect in what I say trying to be as balanced as possible in my statements. That's why maybe, I couldn't convey my own unreserved disdain for such days! I honestly find them very ridiculous.

One of my very phony friends during MBBS had worn a red ribbon over her coat on World AIDS day. She was the only student to do so. I asked her what purpose did it serve apart from standing out in a crowd, and she responded that it created awareness. I asked her what kind of awareness did it create? Had someone not knowing about its routes of transmission and lethal outcome, asked her about the disease? She replied in negative. On further asking, she gave away that she had worn it only 'cuz channel V ads 'dared' viewers to sport the ribbon if they were broad-minded (read, 'hip'). I had felt disgusted for it simply amounted to trying to get across an image rather than having any genuine concern for the cause, but unfortunately those days I was a constant target of 'to-each-their-own-so-don't-judge-people-brigade'. So she had continued to remain my friend for some time. Later she more clearly turned out to be superficial.

The only point I'm trying to make is I understand what you meant by "WTF"! :)

I was thinking just two days back how in public perception, festivals like Diwali not just bring happiness (as you stated), but I am 'supposed' to feel all happy and festive about it! For more than 10 years now I've not been able to understand what special button shall I press to feel happy with approach of a festival! I celebrate my happiness in my own small ways when I feel happy!

The most important point of my previous post was that Wikipedia article. Did you read it? <----Now for instance, I don't want this question to sound commanding, but couldn't think of better way to put it! :(


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