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India global capital of open defecation: NGO

New Delhi, Nov 18, 2013, (IANS)

With more than 626 million people daily defecating in the open, India is on the verge of becoming the "global capital of open defecation", an NGO said here Monday.

More than 55 percent women from the Dalit community daily face harassment at the hands of rowdy males when they go out in the open to defecate, said Rajesh Upadhya, executive director of the National Confederation for the Dalit.

"The situation won't improve till the Indian government stops making false promises and immediately implements the policies meant for providing proper sanitation facilities to the Dalit community," he told media persons.

Upadhya was speaking on the right to sanitation and hygiene for Dalits.

He said that even decades after independence, sanitation-related problems with Dalits have increased all over the country.

"The condition is so bad that there are only 30-40 toilets for 29,000-30,000 people in every Dalit colony in the capital," he said.

"Only 17-18 percent of the people from the Dalit community are able to avail proper sanitation facilities," Upadhya said.

"The budget allocated for sanitation is not being fully utilised and if the community asks for toilets, the bureaucrats do nothing about it," Upadhya told IANS.

"There is no transparency in the usage of funds allotted by the government," he said.


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