India’s fight against open defecation heading towards failure, says new CSE study

India’s fight against open defecation heading towards failure, says new CSE study


 PATNA: For India top go open defecation-free, the role of four Indian states, including Bihar, is very important, says a new study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the New Delhi-based research and advocacy body adding India’s fight against open defecation heading towards failure.

According to the study, these four states—such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand—account for a massive 60 per cent of the people in India who defecate in the open, and unless these states become open defecation-free, India just can’t achieve that goal.

“Building toilets is one thing and ensuring they’re being used is another. Besides, motivating people to change, some concrete steps will have to be taken. They include repairing / rebuilding unusable toilets, and incentivising behavioural change” director general, CSE, Sunita Narain told the media today.

The study also says Bihar has a very poor track record. At the moment, says the CSE study, the state has the poorest record in terms of rural sanitation.

Out of the 6.4 crore households without toilets in the country, 22 per cent are in Bihar. Till June 2017, around 70 per cent of its population was yet to get access to toilets. More than 50 per cent of girls miss school in Bihar due to absence of proper toilets in schools, the study revealed.

“The state has focused on building toilets at break-neck speed — without making people aware of them, without ensuring that these toilets are functional and are used,” said Sushmita Sengupta, the lead researcher behind the CSE study.

Even as the state continues to build more toilets, CSE’s research findings show that the target of 100 per cent household toilet coverage in Bihar will happen only by 2033.

“All the constituencies of Bihar’s leading cabinet ministers are defaulters — none of the districts in which these constituencies are located in can achieve the target by October 2019, says the CSE analysis.


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