Saturday, January 19, 2008

India's plan to eradicate the practice of open defecation

No toilet, no seat, says minister;

Village council candidates in India should be allowed to stand for election only if they have a toilet at home, the rural development minister says.

In a letter to all chief ministers, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the toilet rule should be set out in law...

He said too many elected members "do not have toilet facilities in their own houses and defecate in the open".

Mr Singh told the BBC that more than 65% of India's rural population defecated in the open, along roadsides, railway tracks and fields, generating huge amounts of excrement every day.

"This finds its way into the water sources," Mr Singh said.

About 70% of India's billion-plus population live in its more than 550,000 rural villages.

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