India to put an end to public defecating

If you travel through India there’s a couple of bodily-function issues you might notice (outside your own, that is). One is that there’s a large poor population that doesn’t have access to any form of plumbing. Railroad tracks tend to become the local slum toilet — at least that’s what I noticed while traveling by rail. The other is that areas where public toilets are in place, the stench is often overwhelming (I’m thinking back to some roadside urinals I constantly passed en route to my guesthouse in Delhi).

The World Health Organization estimates that 2.6 million people live without access to a proper toilet, and more than half that number live in India. It’s difficult to imagine a solution to a problem that huge, but India is working on it. The government aims to eradicate “open-air defecating” by 2012, promised Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad at the World Toilet Summit.

Only problem is, he didn’t say how.

Read the report here.