research institute for compassionate economics

EPW: Toilets can be temples

Written by Dean Spears on October 19th, 2012

Economic and Political Weekly argues that “Indians have to accept that sanitation is not a dirty word.”

All of this comes out of the “Nirmal Bharat Yatra” — a cross-country trip intended to raise awareness and support for the idea that ending open defecation must be a priority. I know a lot of the people involved, and I’m very glad to see open defecation in the news. At the same time, we know that some well-meaning policy efforts can be counter-productive, such as raising subsidies to a level that they attract the attention of local political figures who would rather steal than build. It is important to get attention, and it is important to use it well — I hope the Yatra uses the attention to sanitaiton that it is creating to pitch the right message.