More than eighty years after Mahatma Gandhi wrote of an India he envisioned that saw ‘perfect sanitation’, the Government of India has declared war on open defecation. By launching the Swachh Bharat – or Clean India – Mission three years ago, the Government of India has set the ambitious goal of achieving an open defecation-free India by 2019.

As of now, five States and nearly 250,000 villages in 200 districts have been declared open defecation-free with more soon to follow.  The Government of India also reports that latrine coverage has gone from 39 per cent to over 69 per cent. Every hour, an estimated 3300 toilets are being built in India – that’s nearly one toilet every second!

Learn more in this article, by Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF.

Photo credit: Eric.Parker via / CC BY-NC