Half the country’s population may not have a toilet at home but they are not without a mobile phone.
Bringing to light this feature of the population,Census 2011 data on houses,household amenities and assets released today said 49.8 per cent Indian households defecate in the open but in sharp contrast,63.2 per cent households own a telephone connection,53.2 per cent of them a mobile.
The data reflected the controversial remarks of Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh who said recently that women demand mobile phones but they are not demanding toilets.
According to Census figures released by Union Home Secretary R K Singh,only 46.9 per cent of India’s 24.66 crore households have a toilet facility while 49.8 per cent go for open defecation and 3.2 per cent people use public toilets.
Jharkhand tops the list with 77 per dent of households having no toilet facilities,followed by 76.6 per cent people in Odisha and 75.8 per cent in Bihar.
Tele-density is the highest in Lakshadweep where 93.6 per cent households own a telephone set,followed by Delhi and Union Territory Chandigarh where 90.8 per cent and 89.2 per cent households respectively own telephone sets.
“Open defecation continues to be a big concern for the country as almost half of the population (49.8 per cent) do it. Cultural and traditional reasons and lack of education were the prime reasons for this unhygienic practice. We have to do a lot in these fronts,” Registrar General and Census Commissioner C Chandramouli told reporters here.
Besides,62.5 per cent rural population continue to use fire-wood as fuel for cooking and 44.8 per cent people’s mode of transport is cycle while computer with internet facility has penetrated into country’s just 3.1 per cent population.
Television continues to be the biggest mode of entertainment with 47.2 per cent households owning a set. Only 19.9 per cent people own a radio or transistor.
Bicycle remains the popular mode of transport with 44.8 per cent households owning one while two-wheelers are used by 21 per cent and four wheelers by just 4.7 per cent of the country’s population.
Only 3.1 per cent households of the country own a computer or laptop with internet while another 6.3 per cent own a computer or laptop without internet facility.
Thirty-two per cent households in the country use treated water for drinking while 49 per cent use fire wood as fuel for cooking and 28.6 per cent households use either LPG or PNG as fuel for cooking.
There is no drainage facility in 48.9 per cent households while another 33 per cent households have only an open drainage system.
Interestingly,86.6 per cent Indians live in their own houses but 37.1 per cent live in one room houses,31.7 per cent live in two rooms houses and 14.5 per cent live in three rooms houses.
In 70.1 per cent households,only one couple live while two couples live in 14.1 per cent households and there are 11.6 per cent households where there are no couples.