‘Third World’..? More Like Fourth!

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.


I just….

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.

8 comments for “‘Third World’..? More Like Fourth!

  1. November 24, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Enough of this toilet talk.

    • November 27, 2016 at 8:09 am


  2. Errol
    November 24, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Thing is, the Guardian often believes that the entire world is like it’s small metropolitan, wealthy, upper class version of it.

    When they’re introduced to it not being, they can’t really understand it.

  3. Mudplugger
    November 24, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    No point installing toilets if there’s no sewerage infrastructure in place and, for a place the scale of India, that will take generations to achieve and cost many more billions than even the Guardian would expect us to donate in dodgy aid funding.

    Some friends of Pakistani origin had a palatial bling-house built back in their ‘home’ village, including all the latest Western plumbing and laundry facilities. All of these devices simply drained through the wall and onto the road-gutter outside, there being no public sewer to which they could be connected.

    It’s generally smarter to place the horse before the cart, not vice-versa.

    • November 27, 2016 at 8:10 am

      “All of these devices simply drained through the wall and onto the road-gutter outside..”

      All show and no ‘go’..? 😉

  4. Ed P
    November 24, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Cess-pits are used worldwide where there’s no sewage pipework or treatment plants.
    But just as most workers in the UK preferred an outside toilet (until early/mid C20), being horrified at the very idea of defecating within the house*, it’ll take many decades to change the Indian mindset.
    * except for using a potty when really, really necessary.

  5. Stonyground
    November 24, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    My thought on reading this was, so it’s OK for the UK government to try to micromanage my life, but people who don’t know how to use a toilet are fine to be let out on their own?

    • November 27, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Correct! As long as ‘it’s their culture’.

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