In a rather unusual, yet striking revelation made by the newly released 2011 Census, mobile phones have been found to be more common, than lavatories in India, reports The Statesman. The 2011 Census, while highlighting India's technological climb in the recent times, also painted a picture of stark contrasts. It revealed that 46.9 percent of Indian homes could boast of having a personal toilet, while 12 percent have the luxury of piped sewer system in their homes. Note down these figures and pitch them against the 53.2 percent of mobile phone owners; and no, we are not even talking about the urban number, here. Reportedly, a massive 64 percent of urban dwellers own a mobile phone today. As opposed to the high number of mobile phone users in the country, the number of those with a computer or laptop fell to 9.4 per cent and that of internet-connected machines fell even further to 3.1 per cent. Sure India has 900 million mobile subscribers and roughly 121 million users glued to the Internet, there are also many, almost a third of households managing with kerosene lamps and with nearly half putting up with mud floors.
Prioritizing? (Image credit: michcommunication.wordpress.com)
The figures are a part of the house listing and housing Census, details of which were made public today, by Union home secretary, Mr R K Singh. The report further detailed that 82 percent of urban dwellers have access to telephones, as opposed to 54 percent of those in the rural areas. In 2010, a UN report, released by the United Nations University had pointed out similar facts, underlining the stark contrasts in India. Quoting Zafar Adeel, Director of United Nations University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health (IWEH), and chair of UN-Water, the report stated, “It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, about half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet.“
The situation is deeply worrying, but above that sets one thinking. If it is age of priorities, then is this what it is? Do share your views on this in the comments section below.