research institute for compassionate economics

To stop open defecation go the Pulse Polio way: HT Op-ed

Written by Aashish Gupta on June 23rd, 2014

Diane and Dean’s op-ed in the Hindustan Times came out today: here is the link.


D&D argue that

Open defecation is killing children, stunting growth, and holding India back from a more developed future. We don’t need the government to build a toilet in every house; what India needs is a ‘toilet use’ revolution. The NDA has declared its goal of eliminating open defecation in India by 2019. But no sooner was the goal announced than a debate began: Will the government be able to achieve it? We are optimistic that it can — if it breaks with old policies, and launches a ‘latrine use’ revolution. If the budget announces a plan to build more latrines without a plan to promote their use, then the government will likely earn praise for appearing to keep its sanitation promise — but it will be falling into the trap that doomed past policies. Nothing short of a campaign to end open defecation — on the scale of Pulse Polio — will reach this urgent goal.

You can see the full submission to the Hindustan Times here.