New Delhi [India], Jan 29 (ANI): Sanitation coverage in rural India has increased substantially from 39 percent in 2014 to 76 percent in January 2018, the Economic Survey 2017-18 has said.
The number of persons defecating in the open in rural areas, which were 55 crores in October 2014, has declined to 25 crores by January 2018.
Also, 296 districts and 307,349 villages all over India have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) so far.
Eight states and two Union Territories, which include Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Daman and Diu and Chandigarh have been declared ODF completely.
The surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and Quality Council of India (QCI) on usage of toilets by the individuals who have access to toilets reported more than 90 percent of individuals using toilets in 2016 and 2017.
The survey satisfactorily notes that there has been substantial reduction in the number of persons defecating in open in rural areas which has had positive health and economic impact in ODF areas.
In a report, 'The Financial and Economic Impact of SBM in India', UNICEF estimated that a household in an ODF village in rural India saves Rs 50,000 every year. (ANI)