Bangalore, IN — In a new push by UNICEF to prevent public defecation in India, the UN organization is launching multiple workshops to the public on common restroom issues. Eighty-two percent of the one billion people practicing open defecation in the world live in just 10 countries. India is the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation, around 490 million people.
"We've made public toilets but people still don't use them, some of these people fear that there are witches inside or that their children will be kidnapped." said Anil Prajapati, chairman of the Gujarat Sanitation Development Organization.
“It not enough to just build toilets in India. Most of these people have never even seen a toilet, so using one can be quite a challenge” UNICEF volunteer Robert McKnight commented. Their goal is to reduce stigma around using toilets, teach people how to properly use them, and keeping hygienic bathroom habits. “If India truly does want to become a modern superpower, it needs to catch up with modern hygiene practices.”
UNICEF hopes to complete all their workshops around India and reduce the number of Indians openly defecating from 47% to 23%.