More Indians have access to Cellphones than basic sanitation, i.e. Toilets

United Nations has published an interesting report that says more Indians have access to a mobile phone, as compared to basic sanitation faciilty, i.e. toilet.

India has some 545 million cell phones, enough to serve about 45 per cent of the population, but only about 366 million people or 31 per cent of the population had access to improved sanitation in 2008.

..the UNU report cites a rough cost of $300 to build a toilet, including labour, materials and advice. – source

WHO and UNICEF predict that if the global trend continues, there will be a shortfall of 1 billion persons from that sanitation goal by the target date of 2015.

While this may come as a surprise to some, this also brings an important step forward – bring more private-public partnership in such sectors where government alone has failed to bring significant impact.

What’s your opinion?

Also see: What Rural India Wants?  [Market Report]

Note to media: I was a little surprised to note that Indian media has come up with a provocative headline India has more cellphones than toilets”. It is about access and not the ownership (I hope media companies do not have separate toilet for each and every employee!).

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