10 Remarkable Facts About India's Sanitation Challenge
Data show over 2.4 billion people lack access to proper sanitation across the world. Consequently, 1.5 million children below the age of five die from diarrhoea every year. It is undeniable that the sanitation challenge the world faces is enormous. This is especially true of India.
On World Toilet Day, let us take a look at 10 remarkable facts about India's sanitation challenge.
- According to WaterAid, a global charity organisation, 774 million people lack access to adequate sanitation in India, 76 million lack access to safe water and 1,400,000 children die every year because of unsafe water and sanitation.
- According to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 595 million Indians defecate in the open. This is nearly 60 per cent of the one billion people, who lack toilets across the world. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government plans to tackle this problem by 2019.
- According to the World Bank, in 2006, the cost of not having toilets, for the country as a whole, was $54 billion. This was greater than the gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat in 2006-07, which was $53.7 billion and $48.3 billion.
- According to the office of the registrar general and census commissioner, as of 2012, 110 million rural households did not have toilets. According to WaterAird, merely three in 10 people in India's rural areas have access to a bathroom.
- Even though India's population is merely 17 per cent of the world's total population, Indians form 60 per cent of the people across the world who lack access to sanitation.
- According to World Helth Organization (WHO) figures, the number of Indins who defecate in the open (626 million) is 45 times that of Chinese citizens (14 million) who do so. China's population, however, is greater than India's population.
- According to 2011 census, only 3.2 per cent of India's total population used public toilets.
- Water and Sanitation Programme estimates that the cost of poor sanitation is Rs 2 lakh crore, which was 6.4 per cent of India's GDP in 2006-07.
- According to Joint Monitoring Programme Report 2012, of the 33 per cent of the rural Indians who have access to toilets, many of them have shared toilets or other types of toilets, and not “improved” ones.
- India is a country where more people have access to mobile phones than to toilets. While this is seen as a failure of the market, this infact, means that the telecom sector performs better than the heavily regulated housing sector.