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Open defecation: How are Indians doing?

Research: Saurabh Goenka; Visuals: Ishu Vaid

Open Defecation Free (ODF) India

Open defecation is one of the biggest problems faced by Indians. The Government of India has launched several programmes, particularly the Swachh Bharat Mission to eradicate the menace. As per the World Bank, in 1991, around 75 per cent of Indians defecated in open, where as in 2015, this proportion has got down to less than 45 per cent.
Also, as per government of India, 5 states, 163 districts and 0.2 million villages have become open defecation free till date.

Households without access to toilets

More than 450 million people in India are deprived of toilets. A possible reason for not having a toilet is a behavioural issue more than an economic one, as around 70 million households in India have televisions but not a toilet.
However, over the years, there has been a noticeable increase in the access to toilets. Yet India's population without access to toilets is much more than the entire population of USA.

Proportion of people not having access to toilets

Out of the 5 states wherein 50 per cent of the households don't have access to toilets, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have the largest number of households which are deprived of toilets in the country. Also, more than 28 million households in these two states do not have toilets in their homes.
Surprisingly, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand, which were once a part of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively, perform much better on this front. Uttarakhand has ensured that all houses in the state have access to either private or public toilets.

Best and worst states in terms of toilet to households

States which fall in the worst category perform badly in terms of provision of toilets to its people. Within these states, around 34.6 million households are deprived of toilets which constitute 59 per cent of the total deprived households of the country. On the other hand, households which are categorised under best 5 states of India have proper access to toilets. Apart from these states, Gujarat and Kerala have been doing well and, soon enough, they will be listed as Open Defecation Free (ODF) states of India.

Household Toilets Constructed

As per government records, since October 2, 2014, around 46 million toilets have been constructed in individual households in India. In the year 2015-16, there was a rapid increase in the construction of toilets, with the number going upto 12.7 million from 5.8 million. A total of 9.2 million toilets has been built in 2016-17 alone.

Community Sanitary Complex Construction

Since 2014, a total of 6923 community toilets were built across the country, out of which 22 per cent of the toilets were constructed in West Bengal alone.Harayana, which claims to have provided access to toilets to all its households, have built 149 community toilets since April 2014.
On the other hand, states which are not performing well in providing toilets to their people, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Puducherry lag behind in the construction of community toilets as well.

Toilets built in Schools by Corporates in India

In 2014, the Ministry of Human Resource Development launched a scheme named Swachh Vidyalaya initiative to build toilets in schools. 64 Central Public Sector Undertaking and 11 Private Corporates took an active part in this scheme. And, from August 2014 to February 2016, around 1.42 lakh toilets were built by Public Sector Undertakings and 3466 toilets were built by Private Corporates across the country.

Funds released by the Government for Construction of Toilets

There has been a substantial increase in funds allocated for construction of toilets over the years. In 2016-17, there was an increase of 66 per cent. Moreover, it is to be noted that there has been full utilisation of the allocated funds over the years and during the last 5 years, more funds were utilised than the allocated funds.