To end Open Defecation in India
We all live in a nation where half of the population accepts that the other half doesn’t use a toilet. As a result everyone’s health and dignity is at risk; whether we use a toilet or not. This can’t be right.
Open defecation is a major public health problem in many countries of the world with large populations of poor people. It refers to the common practice whereby people defecate outside on open ground rather than using a toilet that ensures no direct contact with faeces. India is home to the world’s largest population of people who open defecate. 626 million people do not use a toilet – that is over half the population. Interestingly, open defecation is prevalent among all socio-economic groups in rural India although the bottom two wealth quintiles practice it most. It’s not all bad news. Each year nearly 20 million people are starting to use a toilet – breaking the inter-generational habit that was taught to them as toddlers. But, quite simply, 20 million new users a year is not enough to ensure that all children are born into an environment that will not contribute to them being stunted; where they will no longer suffer from repeated episodes of diarrhea; and where girls will be free from harassment and embarrassment as they enter puberty. Using a clean, working toilet is about health and also about dignity.
For over half of India’s population, specially its children, the lack of toilets violates their fundamental right to live a healthy life with dignity. Protsahan is involved in various creative educational projects that bring to light the menace of open defecation. This project was kick started in partnership with UNICEF India. Other partners on the project include, Halabol, Youth ki Awaaz and Global Voices.
For more on Protsahan's creative involvement to address the issue, click here
For more on the campaign, click here.