Friday, March 16, 2012

More People Have Phones Than Toilets In India

"The “houselisting census” asked 246.6 million households a wide range of questions from what their walls were made of to whether they had a radio. Results are now out, and the survey found that 63.2 per cent of households said they had a telephone connection – that’s up from 9.1 per cent a decade ago, and the increase is due almost entirely to the rise in cellphone ownership."

However only 53.1 per cent of Indian households have access to a toilet – either one in their own home or in a shared toilet block. Less than one in three rural Indians has access to a toilet.
UNICEF says that 640 million Indians are still “open defecators” – people who relieve themselves in fields or next to railway tracks – a figure that remains high despite hikes in government spending on sanitation projects. Local governments have tangled those projects in corruption and bureaucracy, and even in places where toilet blocks are built, people have been slow to adopt use of the new facilities.