Open Defecation Free – A Distant Dream?
Open defecation has been a huge problem throughout history in our country. It is mainly associated with people with the lowest incomes or no incomes at all and is witnessed not only in rural areas but urban areas as well. According to Unicef, In 2015, nearly half of India’s population did not have access to toilets and a proper sanitation system. As a result, people are forced to defecate in fields, railway tracks, forests and other public spaces. Moreover, UNICEF also highlights that half of the world’s population with no choice but to defecate in the open belong to India. What is more appalling is that one in every fifth school in India does not have clean working toilets made for girls. Thus, lack of hygiene and proper sanitation has led to a high neonatal mortality rate of 24 deaths for 1000 live births.