No toilet? Forget politics
AHMEDABAD: An Indian state wants to make it mandatory for anyone standing for public office to have a toilet at home to discourage the common practice of open defecation.
A bill passed by the Gujarat state assembly on Monday also requires all existing government members to declare within six months whether they have a toilet at home.
“Curbing open defecation is vital to create hygienic conditions and cleanliness and preventing water contamination,” the state government said.
Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has said every household should have a toilet within four years to prevent the spread of disease.
A recent report by the UN children’s fund Unicef estimates that 594 million people – nearly half of India’s population – defecate in the open.
Squatting outside at night also exposes about 300 million women and girls to potential assault.
The issue was highlighted in May when two girls were attacked while relieving themselves in a field.