On October 2, 2019, all the villages in the 36 States and Union Territories of India were declared open defecation-free (ODF). However, recently published data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) show that none of the 30 States surveyed are open defecation-free. The survey results show that residents in over 25% of rural households defecated in the open. In States such as Bihar and Jharkhand, the share of such rural households was higher than 40%. And among rural households, access to toilets varied widely based on caste and wealth. Among rural Scheduled Tribe (ST) households, 65% had access to toilets, whereas more than 85% of non-Scheduled Caste (SC), non-ST and non-Other Backward Classes (OBC) households did. Also, only about 52% of the rural and urban households belonging to the lowest wealth quintile had access to toilets.
Miles to go
The chart depicts the share of households in which the residents defecated in the open or had no access to a toilet facility. Though the share has decreased over the years, one in four rural households continue to defecate in the open.
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The chart depicts the State-wise share of households in which residents defecated in the open according to the NFHS-5 (2019-21) survey. The data contrasts the share of villages that were declared open-defecation free by the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).
Variation among households
The chart depicts access to toilets among households across wealth quintiles (richest 20% to the poorest 20%). The access was much lower among the poorest 20% of the households.
The chart depicts access to toilets among households across select castes. The access was much lower among the SC and the ST households.
Source: National Family Health Survey – 5 (2019-21)
Also read: Data | Three government surveys debunk Swachh Bharat’s 100% ODF claim