Saturday, December 31, 2016

Trying to change habits is not easy

In India many rural residents do not have toilet facilities and so defecate outdoors. Unicef  claims that more than half of rural Indians still defecate in public, excreting nearly 65,000 tons of feces into the environment each day. Outdoor defecation is not limited to the countryside. It often happens around railway tracks or slum areas. Scientists believe that this outdoor excreting leads to diarrhea in kids 5 and under, resulting in about 188,000 deaths each year.

New Delhi is trying to change this habit. It will deploy what they call mascots that will blow a whistle they sense a possible excretion and direct the violator to a public toilet. Poverty or lack of access to toilets are not the only factors, research has shown that many Indian villagers believe public defecating is healthier, and continue the practice even after a toilet is built in their area.

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