India to check on toilet use in 'real time'

Indian women hold latrines during the opening ceremony of the three-day International Toilet Festival in New Delhi on November 1
Indian women hold latrines during the opening ceremony of the three-day International Toilet Festival in New Delhi on November 18, 2014

India's government Wednesday announced a nationwide scheme to check whether people are using toilets as part of a cleanliness drive championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Since October the government has provided 503,142 new household latrines. But experts say most of these end up being used as storerooms since many people consider unhygienic and prefer to squat in the open, believing it more sanitary to defecate far from home.

Sanitary inspectors will go door-to-door to "check and verify the use of toilets" with mobile phones, tablets or iPads and upload the results onto a website in "", a government press release said.

"Earlier, the monitoring was done only about the construction of toilets, but now the actual use of toilets will be ascertained," it said.

Modi announced the cleanliness drive in his Independence Day speech in August, pledging a toilet in every household by 2019.

UNICEF estimates that almost 594 million people—or nearly 50 percent of India's population—defecate in the open, with the situation worst in dirt-poor rural areas.

Lack of toilets and other sanitation problems costs India nearly $54 billion annually through illnesses such as diarrhoea and lower productivity, a 2012 World Bank study found.

The latest government monitoring programme is aimed at motivating people to use the toilet.

"Sanitation is a mindset issue. (The aim is to) create demand by triggering behaviour change," the statement said.

Explore further

Indian children asked to blow whistle on open defecation

© 2014 AFP

Citation: India to check on toilet use in 'real time' (2014, December 31) retrieved 19 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Dec 31, 2014
Merciful Buddha! He should have had taught his countrymen how to defecate properly instead of self-mind-engineering for getting out of this cycle of existence..! Perhaps he did... when he taught the eight-fold noble path, started with "right view" and "right thinking"..etc. Apparently, his words was wasted! Almost half joined the Islamic creed, and created the joyous and peaceful country know know today as Pakistan, and poorest of the rest just carried on like they had always done for the past 4000 years..Must be a national pride, fetish or something, because everywhere else and everyone else on this planet appreciate a good toitlet. It is beyond comprehension!

Dec 31, 2014
Why do so many think Indians are so intelligent?

Dec 31, 2014
Why do some cultures have clean, functional toilet facilities and others, don't?

Dec 31, 2014
Why do some cultures have clean, functional toilet facilities and others, don't?

Maybe because they don't give a sh-i-t? ;-D

(sorry, couldn't resist)

Dec 31, 2014

Your two comments on this thread is another example of your overall ignorance and eurocentric bias. Where in the hell do you think our european ancestors took a crap? If you had any knowledge of history you would know it was normal to empty "chamber pots" on the streets of american cities until the flush toilet was widely adopted.

Jan 01, 2015
Why do so many think Indians are so intelligent?

And you wish people to think otherwise.

We get it. Another aspect of a perverse, hateful mind. Through your all too many, thankfully terse, comments, we have some insight into your intellect. Shallow views, badly articulated, poor grasp of grammar and composition.

Your ability to assess intelligence in others is dubious. Kind of like what I'd expect if I had a bald person rating hair care products.

Jealous of what you'll never have?

Jan 01, 2015
Where in the hell do you think our european ancestors took a crap? I

My grandparents had out houses.
And my grandmother was very conscientious to keep that outhouse clean with lye water and painting it white.
The issue is not the facilities. The issue is cleanliness.
Another aspect of a perverse, hateful mind.

Silicon Valley wants to import more Indian workers, legally or illegally.
Indians have a reputation in the US for being good students and soo smart.
Yet Indian culture still has a caste system, they still squat and crap anywhere.
Maybe the ones who stay in India are not the smart ones who leave. (And I know India has dozens of cultures, and one national govt.)

Jan 02, 2015
Don't converse with ryggesogn2, just use the Report link on his racist post and move on.

Jan 03, 2015
Why do some cultures have clean, functional toilet facilities and others, don't?
Another unfortunate symptom of chronic, religion-induced overpopulation. Why do some moslems refuse to use toilets, believing that the prophet prefers they squat over a hole?

Well, latrines are always in short supply in overcrowded cultures. In order to promote harmony and reduce long lines of squirming believers, the prophet chose to promote an uncomfortable position for relieving oneself, ensuring speedy turnover times and shorter lines.

Who says the holy books offer nothing of practical value? Unfortunately this has the faithful, who migrate to lands where there is plenty of toilets to go around, crapping on toilet seats, in urinals, and on the floor. Watch your step in public restrooms.

They also have the apparent custom of retaining waste until after sundown on certain days, which leaves unflushable gourd-sized masses in heathen toilets. They seem to actually be proud of this.

Jan 03, 2015
Cry "racism" and you don't have to address the issue.
What a lame excuse!
BTW, 'racism' is being overplayed and I, and many others, are calling your racist bluff.

Jan 03, 2015
"A staggering 70% of Indians living in villages - or some 550 million people - defecate in the open. Even 13% of urban households do so. Open defecation continues to be high despite decades of sustained economic growth - and despite the obvious and glaring health hazards."
"Why do so many Indians still prefer not to use toilets, even if they are available?

"MP and writer Shashi Tharoor says Indians also have a cultural problem when it comes to sanitation: "We are a nation full of people who live in immaculate homes where we bathe twice a day, but think nothing of littering public spaces, spitting on walls, dumping garbage in the open and urinating and defecating in public, because those spaces are not 'ours'.""

Jan 03, 2015
The trouble with chronic overpopulation ryggy, is that you have to get used to all sorts of compromises. You eat bad food, you drink dirty water, you wear shoddy clothes, you have lots of people dying from disease, and you don't have adequate toilet facilities. This was as true in 17th century Paris, with open sewers in the streets, as it is in New Delhi or Islamabad today.

Many religions have been altered to deem this lifestyle a virtue. This life is gross and temporary they say, smile and keep your mouth shut and the next life will be a lot better for you. Sound familiar?

Religions will legitimize castes so as to segregate the most miserable. Let them eat cake, says the ruling class.

Jan 06, 2015
"The fighter-jet project has stumbled along in part because state-controlled Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. has a monopoly on the plane's manufacture. The company suffers from all the red tape and inefficiency that plagues the rest of India's huge public sector. It lacks the autonomy to make bold decisions. It can't attract top engineering talent with its rigid (and low) salary scales.

At the Science Congress, Modi emphasized the need to trim back this kind of red tape. The government should also loosen its stranglehold over state-run laboratories and technical universities such as the famed Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). Only last week, the head of Delhi's IIT resigned under pressure from the Ministry of Education. That kind of micro-management drives talent away and shifts the focus from science and technology -- the IITs' core competence -- to managing politics."

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more