India has resolved to reduce open defecation by 50% till 2015. In reality, there are hardly any government schemes for sanitation for urban poor, except integrated low cost sanitation scheme.
Recently there was a war among the politicians over “toilet” in India. Now is the time when their commitment should be tested.
According to a report by Right to Sanitation Campaign, 3,75,76,324 toilets are missing from rural and urban India. The report, titled ‘In Deep Shit’, has been collated on the basis of government figures.
These toilets exist on paper but not in reality. These missing toilets are the ones ‘built’ (as per government record) in the last 10 years as part of total sanitation campaign but were never constructed. Hundreds of community toilet complexes (CTCs) are either not built or are dysfunctional.
It should be noted that 62.6 crore Indians still defecate in the open.
According to the report, in rural India, only 31.9% households have access to sanitation. Almost 68% rural people defecate in open while half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilets at home. While 18% households in urban India do not have access to sanitation and 51% households do not have access to toilets in on notified slums.
The report further reveals that 87% of toilets built in last 10 years as part of total sanitation campaign are ‘missing’ in Madhya Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh this figure was 78%.
Almost 77% people from scheduled caste (SC) communities and 84% from scheduled tribe (ST) communities do not have toilets at home.
As a matter of shame, only 25,000 out of 6 million Indian villages are free from the practice of open defecation.
This lapse in the sanitation costs India 6.4% of its GDP (almost $53.8 billion) according to the estimates of World Bank. The same world bank had, a few months back, stated in its report that India has more mobile phone subscribers (929 million) than toilets (300 million).
Interestingly, India has resolved to reduce open defecation by 50% till 2015. In reality, there are hardly any government schemes for sanitation for urban poor, except integrated low cost sanitation scheme. Also, India is lagging behind 11 years to meet the millennium development goal (set in 2000) by 2015.
States without proper sanitation facilities Jharkhand: 77% homes Odisha: 76.6% homes Bihar: 75.8% homes