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To end open defecation, make Indians want to

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Over half of all Indians defecate in the open, and in rural areas, this figure is about 70 per cent. In contrast, less than 1 per cent of people in China, 4 per cent of people in Bangladesh, and about a quarter of people in Sub-Saharan Africa defecate in the open. Why is there so much more open defecation in India? Considering that open defecation in rural India causes death, disease, malnutrition and the loss of economic productivity, understanding why it is so common is an important priority.

For the past year, we have been part of a team of researchers who have been investigating sanitation beliefs and attitudes of people in the rural parts of six north Indian states. What we find about why so many people in rural India defecate in the open may surprise you.

Read the rest of this piece by Dean Spears and Diane Coffey in India Today, 2nd October 2014


Date: 6 October 2014