Some Indian census data is out, via The Hindu. It’s interesting. Indians are moving out of shared homes into nuclear families, but still shitting in the streets and fields. At the same time, most have electricity, banking facilities and phones. India’s not doing so bad, but the basics are persistently dire.
Still Shitting In The Streets
In many ways, sanitation is civilization, and here India lags behind. Less than half of households have latrine facilities in the house. Of those with latrine facilities, only 12% have piped sewerage (the effective kind) and about 50% seem to have no drainage for the latrine at all.
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.”
I say sanitation is civilization because human life expectancy actually declined after the Paleolithic (ie, caveman days). Agriculture and lots of people (and animals) living together meant lost of concentrated shit and actually made us less healthy until the advent of modern sanitation. You can read more on this here: Expectancy Of Life And Dinner.
Uh, anyways. Don’t shit where you eat, generally.
When I think of Indian families I think of the Maha Gedera, which is dubbed here into Sinhala. Basically everybody lives in one house, and teledrama ensues. That doesn’t seem to be the norm. More and more Indians are likely to live in their own homes, which spares the baby mama mama drama.
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.
67% of Indians have electricity, 93% in urban areas. 63% have phones, 82% in urban areas. Basically, urban areas are connected. There, 8.4% have access to a computer with Internet, compared to 3.1% as a national average. 50% of the nation, however, is still using firewood for cooking.
25% of Indians have accessed to some sort of motorized transport, but only 5% have a car, jeep or van. 50% have a bicycle.
So, interesting stuff. India makes persistent gains in terms of modernizing its urban areas, and there is a lifestyle there that far exceeds Sri Lanka, or even parts of the western world. Hence you get innovation, business, culture, hype. At the same time, however, about half of the population is still shitting in the open and only 32% have access to treated water. Those are the basics for entering a healthy, productive, modern life, and until India catches up there, its potential for growth as a nation is still held back.
You can see more deets in The Hindu, though watch out for the autoplaying railway something video.