A new social care initiative by the India government has set aside around $20bn (£15bn) for a new health drive. This is to build new public toilets. The BBC has called this ‘a toilet – building frenzy’ which is aimed at stopping people defecating in public.

Currently over half a billion people who live in rural India do not use toilets.

Students wanting to study sociology should think about the cultural implication of why this happens. And how difficult it will be to change social norms and cultural patterns of people to use these toilets even after they are built?

Students wanting to study Medicine or Biology should think about the heath complications that are associated with defecation in public. There are a variety of illnesses which are linked to this behaviour which might be avoided if it were tackled with this new toilet building scheme. Students should look into how these diseases can be carried and spread through this activity.

Furthermore, not only health problems are relevant but also as the BBC comments a variety of social problems ‘including children not going to school and women being assaulted or fearing assault when they go to secluded areas to relieve themselves.’ People living in rural India often have to walk very long distances to reach the right area to defecate which can be dangerous.

Looking into the future, once the initiative has been implemented students wanting to study Law or Politics should think about hypothetically how the use of these toilets could be entrenched into the law more formally through policy making.

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