Published October 1, 2012 | 5:58 pm
More than 1,600 children under the age of five die daily in India due to diarrhoea caused by lack of sanitation, a report revealed here Friday.
‘Squatting Rights’, a research by philanthropic foundation Dasra, said that every year 30 percent of marginalised women who travel long distances to access public facilities were physically and sexually assaulted.
“In Delhi slums, upto 70 percent of girls experience humiliation every day in terms of verbal harassment and half of them have been victims of grave physical assaults,” said the report.
“Lack of sanitation is detrimental not only to women’s health and their dignity but also to their education, with one in four girls dropping out of schools as there are no facilities that they can safely access,” the report added.
With around seven million people migrating to urban India every year, owing to the lack of proper sanitation, over 50 million men, women and children are forced to defecate in the open.
The poor bear the worst consequences of inadequate sanitation in the form of ailing children, uneducated girls and unproductive people, in turn costing India 6.4 percent of its GDP, said the report.
The slums also face an acute shortage of water. While most localities in Indian cities receive three to five hours of water each day, certain communities receive as little as 30 minutes of water per week.