Views & Reviews Personal View

The Commonwealth games and “Delhi belly”: what India can learn from LA

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4507 (Published 01 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4507
  1. Karunesh Tuli, independent consultant in public health, South Pasadena, California
  1. karuneshtuli{at}hotmail.com

    Waiting to be seated in a restaurant in Delhi, patrons are likely to see pictures of Ganesha, Lakshmi, and Mohandas Gandhi and a plaque with the phrase “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Ganesha, the elephant headed deity, is the remover of obstacles but may owe his place in the eatery to his fondness for sweets and his great belly. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, sits next to the cash register. Gandhi, who perfected hunger as political protest, is the odd one in the bunch; hollow cheeked and lean framed, he was better known for his fruit and goat’s milk diet than for worldly cravings. It is his experiments with sanitation, rather than his status as the “father of the nation,” that justify his presence next to the sign and the gods. Oppressed by the stench at a session of the Indian Congress in Calcutta in 1901, he assigned himself the task of cleaning the latrine.

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