Indians Have More Access To Mobile Phones Than Toilets
India has more money to expend on luxuries than on essential requirements of life. A recent UN study has recognized that many people in India, world’s second most populous country, have more access to a mobile telephone than to a toilet.
The study showed that, India has nearly 545 million cellphones, which are very much sufficient to serve about 45 percent of the population, whereas only around 366 million people or 31 percent of the population had access to better sanitation in 2008. If current global trends prolong, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supposes that there will be a shortage of relatively 1 billion persons from the sanitation goal by the target date of 2015.
Zafar Adeel, The director of United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health (IWEH) said that it is awful, because in India, which is now a country wealthy enough, had almost half its people access to phones wheras around half of the population cannot afford the basic necessity of a toilet. He also said that those who have the sanitation should let others maintain it in order to save 1.5 million children and many others who are killed every year because of contaminated water and poor sanitation.
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, a social service organisation that aims to make affordable toilets available to all, said that it is fact that India which has a population of nearly one billion needs more number of toilets. He also said that main reason behind the problem is Indian’s cultural background. He explained that, traditionally, Indians were told to have toilet distant from the house.
According to a study conducted in 2001, 15 percent houses in urban areas had a provision of ‘flush latrine’, while 85 percent did not have general facility. In rural places, only 17.4 percent homes had toilets. According to statistics provided by the rural development ministry in 2008, 60.07% houses in urban areas have toilet facilities, whereas 57% houses in rural areas have toilets.