ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A
Untouchability, Pollution, and Latrine Pits

Understanding Open Defecation in Rural India

India has far higher open defecation rates than other developing regions where people are poorer, literacy rates are lower, and water is relatively more scarce. In practice, government programmes in rural India have paid little attention in understanding why so many rural Indians defecate in the open rather than use affordable pit latrines. Drawing on new data, a study points out that widespread open defecation in rural India is on account of beliefs, values, and norms about purity, pollution, caste, and untouchability that cause people to reject affordable latrines. Future rural sanitation programmes must address villagers’ ideas about pollution, pit-emptying, and untouchability, and should do so in ways that accelerate progress towards social equality for Dalits rather than delay it.



 

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

 

 

Subscribe Now !

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

New 3-Month Subscription to Digital Archives at just Rs 450 for India and $18 for overseas users.

  Subscribe  

Updated On : 5th Jan, 2017

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top