NHRC sends notice to Centre, states, UTs on lack of toilets

Alarmed over reports that around 62 crore Indians defecate in the open and 30 per cent of the women who went out for toilet fall prey to sexual assault, NHRC on Monday issued notices and sought reports from the Centre, states and Union Territories on the lack of toilets in the country.

New Delhi: Alarmed over reports that around 62 crore Indians defecate in the open and 30 per cent of the women who went out for toilet fall prey to sexual assault, NHRC on Monday issued notices and sought reports from the Centre, states and Union Territories on the lack of toilets in the country.

In a statement today, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said it has sought reports within four weeks from the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs on the issue.

"A survey also proved that 30 per cent of the women who went out for toilet became victims of sexual assault. (NHRC) has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights," the statement said.

The notice was issued after NHRC took suo motu cognisance of a media report citing the 2011 Census to say that half the population of India had to go out for toilet. In Jharkhand and Odisha, 77 per cent of the population and 76 per cent in Bihar and 64 per cent in Uttar Pradesh did not have toilets in their houses, the report said.

The previous UPA government in October, 2013, had reportedly agreed that lack of toilets inside houses was one of the main reasons for the increasing incidents of rape in the country.

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