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Over half Indian homes have no toilets: census

03-14-2012 15:25 BJT

NEW DELHI, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Almost 50 percent of India's 1. 2 billion population don't have toilets at home, but do possess mobile phones, according to the latest census data quoted by the local media on Wednesday.

Only 46.9 percent of the 246.6 million households have lavatories while 49.8 percent defecate in the open. The remaining 3.2 percent use public toilets. But, 63.2 percent homes own a telephone connection, 53.2 percent of them a mobile, reveals data from 2011 Census.

The eastern Indian state of Jharkhand tops the list with 77 percent of households having no toilets, followed by 76.6 percent in the states of Odisha and 75.8 percent in Bihar.

"Open defecation continues to be a big concern for the country as almost half of the population do it," Registrar General and Census Commissioner C. Chandramouli said while releasing the latest data on Tuesday.

Cultural and traditional reasons as well as a lack of education are the prime reasons for this unhygienic practice, according to the official.

Among the other Census findings, two-thirds still use firewood or crop residue as fuel for cooking. while nearly a third of households have to depend on sources other than electricity for lighting their homes, though 67 percent use electricity as the main source of lighting.

The data also reveals that Indians now largely live in nuclear families with 70 percent of homes consisting only one couple -- a dramatic change in a country where joint families were always the norm.

The data shows that 47.2 percent of households have television while only 19.9 percent have a radio. However, just over three percent of India's population have computers with internet facility.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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