Data on 'missing' or 'dead' toilets – that is toilets that exist on paper but not in reality – is a wake-up call for policymakers, says study
Trithesh Nandan | November 19, 2013
As politicians from across the spectrum raise the decibel level in the run-up to the elections – in fact, Chhattisgarh is voting in the second phase for its assembly polls even as we write – there is a stink they cannot escape.
While India is generally known as the global capital of open defecation, there is more to this concern. According to the Right to Sanitation Campaign, there are close to 4 crore missing toilets across the country – as the name shows, a missing toilet is a toilet that exists on paper but does not on ground.
The study, significantly titled “In Deep Shit”, was released on Monday – on the eve of World Toilet Day, which is marked on November 19.
“Over 3,75,76,324 (that is 3 crore, 75 lakh, 76 thousand, three hundred and twenty four) toilets are missing from the ground in rural India and in urban spaces. The other (concern) is that hundreds of community toilet complexes (CTCs) are either not built or are dysfunctional,” says the study.
According to the study, the number of missing toilets in some of the less developed states in India is alarming: it is as high as 87 percent in Madhya Pradesh and 78 percent in Uttar Pradesh.
The 2011 census shows that only 31.9 percent households in rural India have access to sanitation.
The study found that Jharkhand tops the list of states lacking proper sanitation, with 77 percent homes lacking toilet facilities. The corresponding figure is 76.6 percent for Orissa and 75.8 percent in Bihar.
The report also says that nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilets at home. “Nearly 77 percent of SCs and 84 percent of STs do not have toilets at home,” the study highlighted.
“Where have they gone and who is responsible for these missing toilets?” Rajesh Upadhyay, executive director, National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR), remarked at a media conference in New Delhi to unveil the report.
“Out of 6 million villages in the country, only 25,000 are free from the practice of open defecation,” the report said.
The missing toilets have cost for the Indian economy, too. According to World Bank figures circa 2011, India loses approximately $53.8 billion (>6.4% of India’s GDP, as of 2006) due to increased health costs, productivity losses, and reduced tourism revenue due to inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
“The data on the ‘missing toilets’ or ‘dead toilets’ is a wake-up call for one and all and this must be addressed urgently,” the study says.
Rajni Tilak, convener of Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan, said: “At present, the government has a sanitation budget that is below 1 percent (of GDP). We demand an increase in the budget allocation for sanitation. It is also the responsibility of the government to provide sanitation and community toilet infrastructure that the poor can access.
“Only 17 percent people from tribal communities and 20 percent of SC/ST category have access to sauchalaya (toilet) facilities.”
A digital education and awareness programme was organised by Centre for the Study of Social Change (CSSC) under union ministry of social justice and empowerment. Principal Advisor, CSSC and former Mumbai Mayor, Advocate Nirmala Samant Prabhvalkar explained to senior citizens about how to us
India stood 92nd in the latest rankings of the global talent competitiveness index. Switzerland topped the rankings, with Singapore coming second. United Kingdom was in the third position. The report accompanying the rankings said that India’s information technology (IT) sector is alre
There are two kinds of acts from the so-called fringe elements of the BJP: one embarrasses only the secular-liberals but resonates well with the party’s core constituency, and the other embarrasses the party more than the rest. Sakshi Maharaj’s latest rant is of the first type.
As per census 2011, in India, out of the 121 crore population, about 2.68 crore persons are ‘disabled’ which is 2.21 percent of the total population. In an era where ‘inclusive development’ is being emphasised as the right path towards sustainable development, focussed initiatives f
As many as 44 high potential RCS airports have been identified from among 414 airfields available in India, said a report. The FICCI-KPMG report has presented over 370 possible destinations from the high-potential RCS airports, the projected financial statements for four aircraft types and s
The Reserve Bank holds 557.77 tonnes of gold; of which, 265.49 tonnes are held overseas in safe custody with the Bank of England and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Gold as a share of the total foreign exchange reserves in value terms ($) stood at about 5.75 percent as at end-September, 2016,