Is unsafe behavior linked to social order? -Latisha Jaisinghani
Awareness about safety measures appears to be divided along caste lines in rural Rajasthan. Educating children and frequent awareness programs would ensure villagers’ safety in everyday life
It is necessary to start development process from the grassroots in order to develop the country as a whole. However, there are many parts of rural India where people have limited facilities. Even though the scenario is changing now, many still lack even basic necessities like toilets. Sometimes, not necessarily always, this lack of development leads to unsafe behavior.
Various unsafe practices can be found in villages, some of them being careless use of pesticides and drawing water from the wells. For instance, two unsafe practices are frequently seen in Bemla village of Udaipur district. It appears that awareness on safe practices follow a social order in the village.
Divided by social order
Bemla village is divided into four hamlets – Marja, Roopatalai, Mukhya Basti and Nimbu ka Kua. Mukhya Basti comprises mostly Rajputs and general castes, whereas the other hamlets hardly have anyone from general caste. The assistant village chief resides in Mukhya Basti.
There was a major difference in awareness among the people living in Mukhya Basti and the other hamlets. In other words, caste difference could clearly be observed, which has led to lack of knowledge on safety precautions among residents of the same village.
Sangram Rathore, the assistant village chief of Bemla seemed a knowledgeable person. He knew the right dose of pesticides to be used for growing crops. He knew the preventive and corrective measures to be taken before, after and while spraying pesticides.
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