03/14/2012, 00.00
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India: only half of the population has toilets and a mobile phone

Of 246.6 million households, 49.8% forced to used outdoor facilities. 52% of the total population owns a mobile phone. Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar the worst for access to toilets. Change in family nucleus: now 70% of homes are occupied by couples.

Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In India, about half the population has no toilet at home, but has at least one mobile phone. This is shown by the last census (Census 2011) of the Government. With a total population of 1.2 billion people, of about 246.6 million families, only 46.9% can "boast" of having an in house toilet, 49.8%, are mostly slum dwellers and are forced to relive themselves in the open air, the remaining 3.2% use public services. However, 52% of Indians - including those in cities, villages and slums - has a cell phone. The data reveals a society split in half, in which millions of people have access to modern technologies and consumer goods, while a large proportion of the population can not enjoy even basic services.

Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar are among the toughest states in terms of poverty and education, since most of the population lives on less than a dollar a day. In Bihar, the third most populous state of India with 103.8 million inhabitants, only 63.8% receive minimal education, and 75.8% of households have no toilets. Out of a total population of 32.9 million people, the literacy rate in Jharkhand is 67.6%, 77% of households have no toilets. Orissa has 41.9 million inhabitants and as many as 73.4% of them enjoy elementary education, but even here the 76.6% of households have no toilet facilities.

Overall, 63.2% of homes have a landline. Compared to entertainment and information, in the last ten years the purchase of a television has increased by 16%, now 47.2% of households have a television. This is mirrored by the decline of radio: 15% less, with the result that only 19.9% of the houses own (and listen) to the radio.

The processed data from the 2011 census has also registered a change in family composition: 70% of the houses consist of a single couple. A real breakthrough for India, which traditionally has a large family nucleus, even 15-20 people including parents, children, grandparents, uncles and aunts.


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