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Despite Toilets, Large Number Of People Defecate In Open: Official

30 per cent of the households in Bihar have toilets and 13 per cent of them are not being used.

New Delhi:  A large number of people in India defecate in the open despite having toilets at home, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Only 30 per cent of the households in Bihar have toilets. 13 per cent of them are not being used, Permeswaran Iyer, secretary in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said in a statement.

He said 37 per cent of the households in Jharkhand are equipped with toilets. But one-third of their users prefer to relieve themselves in the open.

In Odisha, 40 per cent of the households have toilets but 20 per cent of the families do not use them, Mr Iyer said.

“Unlike earlier sanitation programmes, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is not a toilet construction programme but a behaviour change mass movement,” he said at an event organised by NGO Sambodhi.

While it is relatively easier to construct roads, bridges and airports, bringing about a change in human behaviour is “complex”, he said.

The government is now focusing more on bringing a change in human behavior, the official said.