63.8 Crore people go for Open Defecation in India: UNICEF

As per the data of 2008, UNICEF as has estimated that around 63.8 Crore (i.e. 54% of total population) people in India practice open defecation due to inadequate sanitation. UNICEF also says that India accounts for 58% of those who practice open defecation across the globe. Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for 10% of population that suffers on account of inadequate sanitation. Only five states in India have done well in sanitation and they are Kerala, Sikkim, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra. The second country after India is Indonesia , which has 5.7 crore people defecating in the open and it accounts for 5% of the population which still are denied sanitation. Third country is China where 5.6 crore people defecating in the open. The condition of Ethiopia is worse than India as 60% of its population are put to embarrassment against the 54% in India. The countries such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are also ranked in the list for poor sanitation, but are better than India in giving sanitation to people.

Implications:

  • The economic blow of insufficient sanitation costs India about Rs. 2.4 trillion or about 6.4% of its GDP. Diarrhoea single-handedly takes 4 Lakh lives per annum, with 90% of it being children

  • Albeit the miserable state exists, the yearly central budget is only Rs. 2,000 Crore which is just about 2% of the whole budget for Rural Development ~ Rs.1 Lakh crore

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