Open defecation free India
Open defecation is rampant in India and the country is home to the world’s largest population of people who defecate in the open and excrete close to 65,000 tonnes of faeces into the environment each day. It is a well-established traditional practice deeply ingrained from early childhood. Sanitation is not a socially acceptable topic, and as a result, people do not discuss it. Consequently, open defecation has persisted as a norm for many Indians. In addition to tradition and the communication taboo, the practice still exists due to poverty; many of the poorest people will not prioritise toilets and besides, many are living in rented homes without toilets. In spite of the large number of people still practicing open defecation, the Government of India has made progress in reducing the practice. Although access to sanitation in rural/urban India is improving, the increase is not equitable. Open defecation is still almost universal among the poorest 20 per cent of the population.Progress has also been made in creating awareness about the many benefits of toilets, but many barriers to uptake still remain in rural and urban India.
The summit will address the willingness, innovation and open participation of community needed to make India open defecation free.
NATIONAL SUSTAINABLE WATER & SANITATION SUMMIT 2016
1 & 2 Dec 2016, New Delhi, India