New Delhi: Over 93 per cent of households in rural India have access to toilets and of these households, 96.5 per cent uses them, a survey commissioned by the government has found.
The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2018-19, conducted by an independent verification agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, also re-confirmed the open defecation free (ODF) status of 90.7 per cent villages which were declared so by various districts and states.
“The survey was conducted between November 2018 and February 2019 and covered 92,040 households in 6,136 villages across States and Union Territories of India,” the drinking water and sanitation ministry said. “It was found that 93.1 per cent of households have access to toilets during the survey period and 96.5 per cent of those who had access to toilets, used them,” the ministry added.
“90.7 per cent villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF were re-confirmed to be ODF. The remaining villages also had sanitation coverage of about 93 per cent. 95.4 per cent of the villages surveyed found to have minimal litter and minimal stagnant water,” it added.
The government said since its launch in October 2014, the Swachh Bharat Mission has changed the behaviour of hundreds of millions of people with respect to toilet access and usage.
“500 million people have stopped defecating in the open since the SBM began, down from 550 million at the beginning of the programme to less than 50 million today,” the ministry said.
“Over nine crore toilets have been built across rural India under the Mission. Over 5.5 lakh villages and 615 districts have been declared ODF, along with 30 ODF States and Union Territories,” it added.