Working Papers
  • Rural Sanitation in India: Implications of Social Norms and Customs
  • Author : Indranil De and Jyoti Sharma
  • Oct-2017

Access and use of sanitation depends on gender, age, and education of the household head. It also depends on the main occupation, religion, and caste of households. Access to water supply also impacts access and use of toilets. The number of members of households has a negative impact on both access and use of sanitation. Younger people living in hired houses are more likely to access shared toilets. Access to sanitation also depends on region. Contrary to expectations, a higher percentage of households having own house do not have access to sanitation vis-à-vis households residing in hired dwellings. Local customs and social norms have a significant impact on sanitation practices. The perceived social cost of giving up the practice of open defecation is very high. The study is based on National Sample Survey data and the results are substantiated by case study of a village in Begusarai district of Bihar. The results of the study suggests for a decentralised planning of the sanitation programme.

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