Every day we read about 8% economic growth. 10% economic growth. Predictions are being made of a richer, brighter future. While in reality more than half of India doesn't even have access to toilets. We must constitute 50% of the world's population which defecates in the open.
Here is what The Times of India says (click on the link for the full report): In slum areas, where more than half of Mumbai lives, an average 81 people share a single toilet. In some places it rises to an eye-watering 273. Even the lowest average is still 58, according to local municipal authority figures.
Unsurprisingly, it is still common to see people squatting by roads and railway tracks or along the coast, openly defecating in the city that drives India's economy and where some of the world's richest people live.
The UN estimates that 600 million people or 55 percent of Indians still defecate outside, more than 60 years after the scrupulously clean independence leader Mahatma Gandhi first talked of the responsible disposal of human waste.
A few years ago I made an advertisement for a newspaper. It was put up in Mumbai on a billboard. Then taken off the next day as it was considered 'too political'. Every day 350 million of us see people defecate in the open. If we acknowledge that, it is too political. If we don't, we can cherish our 8% growth.