World Toilet Day: ‘Leaving No One Behind’, Is India completely free from open defecation?

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World Toilet Day: Significance & Theme


Every year November 19 is celebrated as World Toilet Day. It is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve sustainable development goal 6, which has promised sanitation for all by 2030. Notably, the day was established in the year 2001 by the World Toilet Organisation and became an official UN day in 2013. The World Toilet Day 2019 theme is ‘Leaving No One Behind’.  It is emphasizing on the importance of expanding sanitation access to more than 4.2 billion people living without safely managed sanitation options  Toilet is a  basic amenity and everyone should have access to it. Recently, Nepal has declared itself an open defecation free nation. Let us take a look at India where is our nation standing?

Swachtha Mission in India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The Swachtha Mission in India was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and recently its success was celebrated on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.  During the event Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “ India amazed the World by building 11 crore toilets for 60 crore people in just 60 months.”  But the question is India really open defecation free?

Read more: Explained: How the office of CJI became a public authority & what all has changed?

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation conducts the National Rural Sanitation Survey (NAARS). According to the latest survey, several households in the village which were declared open defecation free did not have access to clean toilets.

The NAARS survey also found that 24 percent households which were declared ODF did not use safe methods to dispose of child faeces. It found that people were neither burying it nor disposing it  in the toilets.  Yes, the condition has improved in the past few years but there is still so much that has to be done.

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