ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Why Open Defecation

This refers to the article by Diane Coffey et al ("Revealed Preference for Open Defecation: Evidence from a New Survey in Rural North India", EPW, 20 September 2014). I believe the reasons why latrine use is not favoured by many should be understood sensitively by those who administer the scheme. In my opinion these are as follows.

First, instead of going into a dark, unlighted, foul-smelling cubicle, perhaps infested with snakes and scorpions, surrounded by foul water and waste, many people will fi nd it is far better, even enjoyable to defecate in open spaces. The signifi cance of this morning ritual can be assessed from the incident where the famous Marathi author, dramatist and fi lm-maker Acharya Pralhad Keshav Atre's marriage was fi xed by his father and his father-in-law when they both had "gone out" in each other's company to attend to "nature's call".

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