Pradeep is one of thousands across India who are trying to solve one of the world’s greatest challenges; how to get 560 million people in India to stop going to the toilet outside.
So, India needs to provide modern plumbing, and all will be well?
There are always people who refuse to believe in the benefits of using a toilet. Many prefer to go out in the open as their ancestors have done for centuries – a habit extremely difficult to break.
The government of the north Indian state of Haryana recently announced that drones would be used to monitor people going out to defecate.
Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh, a law was passed which bars anyone not having a flush toilet in their homes from contesting in Panchayat elections.
A sarpanch (village chief) in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh has gone even further and ordered that people not constructing toilets will be ineligible to access the government’s public distribution shops to get essential food items.
‘Hurrah!’, you’d think. But this is the ‘Guardian’, after all:
The perceived Big Brother attitude that accompanies most government policies and directions carries the danger of making people hostile to safe sanitation and its benefits – worsening the problem.
Burn it all, salt the earth.