In an attempt to get attention in a hard market, the UN University has contrasted mobile penetration in India with toilet penetration in India. If telephones had been left to government, unlikely this contrast could have been drawn. So the conclusion? Get multiple parties to participate in building toilets.
Far more people in India have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet, according to a UN study on how to improve sanitation levels globally.
India’s mobile subscribers totalled 563.73 million at the last count, enough to serve nearly half of the country’s 1.2 billion population. But just 366 million people — around a third of the population — had access to proper sanitation in 2008, said the study published by the United Nations University, a UN think-tank.
“It is a tragic irony to think in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones,” so many people “cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet,” said UN University director Zafar Adeel.