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This post was edited by stealth at 2012-6-26 08:49|
India the world's largest open air toilet
India is the world's largest open air lavatory with three fifths of the world's people forced to do their ablutions outside, the country's rural development minister said.
By Dean Nelson, New Delhi 2:03PM BST 25 Jun 2012.
Jairam Ramesh said spending on basic sanitation should match India's vast defence spending and that the country's best scientific minds should be deployed to make sure every Indian had access to an inside lavatory..
"Nearly 60 per cent of the people in the world who defecate in the open belong to India. Even countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan have better records. We should be ashamed of this."
He was speaking at the launch of a new 'eco-lavatory' designed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation, which is responsible for developing its new Agni Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles.
Of all India's states, Sikkim, the tiny former Kingdom in the Himalayas, has provided indoor lavatories for all its people. Kerala, in the south, is close to joining it, but the minister said it was disappointing that so many other states were not even close to meeting the target. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa had particular poor records.
In Orissa, only 280 of 6300 local authorities could claim to have 100 per cent lavatory use, he said.
He was launching the 'Bapu' named in honour of the country's 'father of the nation' Mahatma Gandhi, a 'bio-lavatory' which composts waste. The government is sign an agreement with its defence establishment to spend £50 million to lavatories in 1,000 local authority areas – mostly those without sewage drain systems.