ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

SanitationSubscribe to Sanitation

Whose Cleanliness?

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) glosses over issues of caste, which is inextricably linked to sanitation work across the country, and the rights of sanitation workers. It incorrectly tries to draw legitimacy from Gandhi’s thoughts on hygiene and cleanliness.

Why Open Defecation

This refers to the article by Diane Coffey et al ("Revealed Preference for Open Defecation: Evidence from a New Survey in Rural North India", EPW, 20 September 2014).

Revealed Preference for Open Defecation

Despite economic growth, government latrine construction, and increasing recognition among policymakers that open defecation constitutes a health and human capital crisis, it remains stubbornly widespread in rural India. We present evidence from new survey data collected in Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Many survey respondents' behaviour reveals a preference for open defecation: over 40% of households with a working latrine have at least one member who defecates in the open. Our data predict that if the government were to build a latrine for every rural household that lacks one, without changing sanitation preferences, most people in our sample in these states would nevertheless defecate in the open. Policymakers in India must lead a large-scale campaign to promote latrine use.

Drinking Water in Kanyakumari

The example of Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu shows that the provision of safe drinking water still remains an unachieved goal, especially in rural areas, with the most severe adverse effects on the health and development of the rural poor. However, India utilises only half of the available surface and groundwater. Augmentation of availability and control of water pollution are necessary to meet the drinking water needs of rural areas.

Declining Social Consumption in India

The declining trend in the use and provision of basic amenities needs immediate attention at the policy level. The main reason for this decline is the low efficiency in managing resources like drinking water, where distribution and transmission losses are high. Policy-making should also focus on demand-side aspects like increasing water use efficiency, recycling and promotion of watersaving technologies.

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