Having given a place to village sanitation, the question may be asked why give a separate place to education in health and hygiene? It might have been bracketed with sanitation, but I did not wish to interfere with the items. Mention of mere sanitation is not enough to include health and hygiene. The art of keeping one's health and the knowledge of hygiene is by itself a separate subject of study and corresponding practice. In a well-ordered society the citizens know and observe the laws of health and hygiene. It is established beyond doubt that ignorance and neglect of the laws of health and hygiene are responsible for the majority of diseases to which mankind is heir. The very high death rate among us is no doubt due largely to our gnawing poverty, but it could be mitigated if the people were properly educated about health and hygiene.
*Mens sana in corpore sane* is perhaps the first
law for humanity. A healthy mind in a healthy body is a self-evident truth.
There is an inevitable connection between mind and body. If we were in
possession of healthy minds, we would shed all violence and, naturally obeying
the laws of health, we would have healthy bodies without an effort. I hope,
therefore, that no Congressmen will disregard this item of the constructive
programme. The fundamental laws of health and hygiene are simple and easily
learnt. The difficulty is about their observance. Here are some:
Think the purest thoughts and banish all idle and impure thoughts.
Breathe the freshest air day and night.
Establish a balance between bodily and mental work.
Stand erect, sit erect, and be neat and clean in
every one of your acts, and let these be an expression of your inner condition.
Eat to live for service of fellow-men. Do not live for indulging yourselves.
Hence your food must be just enough to keep your mind and body in good order.
Man becomes what he eats.
Your water, food and air must be clean, and you
will not be satisfied with mere personal cleanliness, but you will infect your
surroundings with the same threefold cleanliness that you will desire for