National annual rural sanitation survey (NARSS) 2018-19

A new government-commissioned survey has found that 93.1% of rural Indian households now have access to toilets, in comparison to 77% last year. The second edition of the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) also recorded encouraging data with regard to toilet usage and open defecation, finding that 96.5% of people who had access to toilets use them. The Centre’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched in 2014, aims to completely eliminate open defecation in the country by October 2, 2019. The NARSS figures seem to contradict the findings of a recent independent survey by the research institute for compassionate economics (r.i.c.e.), which found that 44% of people in rural Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan still defecate in the open. NARSS 2018-19 was conducted between November 2018 and February 2019, covering 92,040 households in 6,136 villages.

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