research institute for compassionate economics

Survey of Rural Sanitation and Solid Fuel Use, 2018, is publicly available now!

Written by Nazar Khalid on February 28th, 2019

We are excited to announce that the data from our new survey on the status of rural sanitation and solid fuel use is publicly available now. The survey visited rural parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in September-December 2018 and collected data on 9,812 individuals living in over 1500 households. It covered rural sanitation behaviour, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, cooking fuel use, the Ujjawala Scheme, and several other topics.

This is an important region to be thinking about because it represents about 40 per cent of India’s rural population and home to 45 per cent of households without a toilet or latrine.  A significant fraction of all people worldwide who defecate in the open live in these four Indian states.   Our results, therefore, are relevant not merely to sanitation policy in India, but also to addressing the global sanitation challenge.

Growing up in India we all had heard about the famous saying, “gaon ki hawa aur shahar ki dawa ”  (roughly translated as [fresh] air of villages and [better] medicines in cities) can cure all illness. However, that is no longer the case as air in villages are getting increasingly polluted.  A major source of air pollution in rural India is the use of solid fuels for cooking and heating. There is increased awareness now about the fact that exposure to air pollution has important consequences for public health. High levels of air pollution can kill infants and older people, get in the way of healthy child development, and contribute to heart and lung disease. Our dataset provides useful information on the source and extent of the solid fuel use and practices of rural households that can help us gain useful insights on the matter.

To download and know more about other features of the dataset, please visit here