We should study sociology of sanitation: Academics

By Indo Asian News Service | Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | 7:18:02 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) In a bid to better understand how the division between the sacred and the profane works out among social groups in India, a group of academics has recommended that the "sociology of sanitation" be studied at college and university.

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) In a bid to better understand how the division between the sacred and the profane works out among social groups in India, a group of academics has recommended that the "sociology of sanitation" be studied at college and university.

The academics said the sociology of sanitation could be a sub-discipline within sociology at undergraduate, postgraduate and research levels, and promoted as a branch of academic study.

"The University Grants Commission (UGC) should include sociology of sanitation as a recommended course within Sociology at undergraduate, post graduate and research levels in a graded manner," a group of academics said Wednesday at the conclusion of a two-day seminar organised by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation here.

Sociologists also suggested that the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) be approached to give priority to sanitation studies while promoting research.

"Many sociologists strongly felt that existing sub-disciplines of sociology do not adequately capture and address the varied aspects, nuances and social complexities related to sanitation," the academics said in a statement.

Over 100 papers were presented at the meet. Delegates were of the view that the primary objective of the sociology of sanitation is to achieve total elimination of open defecation and empowerment of disadvantaged communities.

"The inclusion of this subject as an academic discipline will not only enlarge the scope of sociology, but also be helpful in solving the problems of society in relation to sanitation, social deprivation, water, public health, hygiene, poverty, gender equality, welfare of children and sustainable development," said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh.

"It was strongly felt and argued in the conference that existing sub-disciplines of sociology do not adequately capture and address the varied aspects, nuances and social complexities related to sanitation," said Yogendra Singh, sociologist and professor emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The academics also suggested that all departments of sociology at universities, colleges and other educational institutions including schools be informed of this declaration.

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