In India’s cities, 157 million urban dwellers, more than the population of Russia, lack decent toilet facilities. Much of the solid waste is emptied into rivers, lakes and ponds untreated.
The World Bank links one in ten deaths in India to poor sanitation. From contaminated groundwater children pick up chronic infections that impair their bodies’ ability to absorb nutrients. Almost 44m children under five, says the bank, have stunted growth, and every year over 300,000 die from diarrheal diseases.
Clean drinking water
A WaterAid report in 2016 ranked India among the worst countries in the world for the number of people without safe water. An estimated 76 million people in India have no access to a safe water supply, and the situation is only getting more serious. Where there is access to clean drinking water in Kolkata’s slums, residents have to walk considerable distance as well as queue up for up to an hour to collect water.
Proper sanitation and easy access to clean drinking water is essential for good health. Calcutta Rescue is increasingly working in these areas to improve the living standards of these communities by installing toilets and water pumps.