[Marxism] Half of India's homes have cellphones, but not toilets

Red Tulips 15redtulips at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 09:37:04 MDT 2012

Dear Friends,

India is a country of paradoxes, a country where half of “homes have
cellphones, but not toilets”. This information, is based on the findings of
the recent census, has been made the lead story of today’s edition of a
leading English daily of India, The Hindu.

NEW DELHI, March 14, 2012
*Half of India's homes have cellphones, but not toilets*

Census sheds new light on changing nation

Though half of all Indians do not have a toilet at home, well over half own
a telephone, new census data released on Tuesday show.

These and many other contrasting facts of life have come out in Census
2011. The data on housing, household amenities and assets cast new light on
a country in the throes of a complex transition, where millions have access
to state-of-the-art technologies and consumer goods — but a larger number
lacks access to the most rudimentary facilities.

It shows Indian society is overwhelmingly made up of nuclear families. They
have ever more access to electricity and gather their information from
television, rather than radio. At the same time, women are forced to rely
on traditional smoky fuels to cook, and less than a third of the population
have access to treated drinking water.

Only 46.9 per cent of the total 246.6 million households have toilet
facilities. Of the rest, 3.2 per cent use public toilets. And 49.8 per cent
ease themselves in the open. In stark contrast, 63.2 per cent of the
households own a telephone connection — 53.2 per cent of mobile phones

Releasing the data, Registrar-General and Census Commissioner C.
Chandramouli said the lack of sanitary facilities “continues to be a big
concern for the country.” “Cultural and traditional reasons,” he argued,
“and lack of education seemed to be the primary reasons for this unhygienic
practice. We have to do a lot in these areas.”

However, the data also show significant deficits in areas that have nothing
to do with cultural practices or poor education. For example, two-thirds of
households continue to use firewood, crop residue, cow dung cakes or coal
for cooking — putting women to significant health hazards and hardship.

The data also show that just 32 per cent of the households use treated
water for drinking and 17 per cent still fetch drinking water from a source
located more than 500 metres in rural areas or 100 metres in urban centres.

There has been an 11 percentage point increase in households using
electricity, from 56 per cent to 67 per cent. The rural-urban gap for this
indicator has dropped by seven percentage point, from 44 per cent to 37 per

India, the data show, is now overwhelmingly made up of nuclear families — a
dramatic change from just a generation ago, where joint families were the
norm. Seventy per cent of the households consist of only one couple. Indian
families are overwhelmingly likely — 86.6 per cent of them — to live in
their own houses, but 37.1 per cent live in a single room.

The whole story with graphics showing abstract of census data is given
bellow and  :


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