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Facts and stats

  • Globally, India has the largest number of people, more than 620 million still defecating in the open. About half the population of India use toilets. 
  • With 44 per cent of mothers disposing their children’s faeces in the open, there is a very high risk of microbial contamination (bacteria, viruses, amoeba) of water which causes diarrhea in children. 
  • Children weakened by frequent diarrhea episodes are more vulnerable to malnutrition, stunting, and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia. About 48 per cent of children in India are suffering from some degree of malnutrition. Diarrhea and worm infection are two major health conditions that affect school age children impacting their learning abilities. 
  • Although access to sanitation in rural India is improving, the increase is not equitable. Open defecation is still almost universal among the poorest 20% of the population.
  • Women and girls face shame and a loss of personal dignity and safety risk if there is no toilet at home. They have to wait for the night to relieve themselves to avoid being seen by others.
  • A very low proportion of the rural population in India uses improved sanitation (facilities which ensure hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact). Almost 70 per cent do not have access to toilets in rural India.
  • There has been good progress in providing toilet and hand washing facilities in schools in India.
  • The number of schools having toilet facility in India has increased from 0.6 million (52%) in 2005-06 to 1.14 million (84%) in 2010-11. In Indian rural schools, toilet facility increased from 0.4 million schools (49%) in 2005-06 to 0.7 million schools (79%) in 2009-10, where they have at least one toilet facility.
  • Almost 28 million school children across India do not have access to school toilet facilities.
  • The number of schools having separate toilet facility for girls is increased from 4.20 lakh (37.4%) in 2005-06 to 10.05 lakh (72.16%) in 2011-12. However, there are huge issues of quality of construction of these facilities, functionality and use.
  • Adequate, well-maintained water supply and sanitation facilities in schools encourage children to attend school regularly and help them achieve their educational goals.
  • Inadequate water supply and sanitation in schools are health hazards and affect school attendance, retention and educational performance.
  • Although access to improved sanitation is steadily increasing in India, the use of improved sanitation in the country remains an enormous challenge.
  • 7 states in India (Orissa, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) account for almost 50% (13.8 million) children without access to toilet facilities in schools.  
  • Adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to dropping out, as many are reluctant to continue their schooling because toilet facilities are not private, not safe or simply not available. The number of schools in India having separate toilet facility for girls increased from 0.4 million (37%) in 2005-06 to 0.8 million (60%) in 2010. 
  • India, at the current rate of progress will only achieve the sanitation target of MDG 7-c in 2054.
  • Water safety is being compromised by open defecation as faeces in the open contaminate drinking water in family and community wells.
Facts and stats
Poo Dabba Dance

Why Take Poo To The Loo?

Daily 620 million Indians are defecating in the open. That’s half the population dumping over 65 million kilos of poo out there every day. If this poo continues to be let loose on us, there will be no escaping the stench of life threating infections, diseases and epidemics.

It’s time to take the poo to the loo.