|India census: Half of homes have phones but no toilets|
|Friday, 16 March 2012 10:46|
Census 2011 data on houses, household amenities and assets reveal that 63,2 percent of homes have a telephone.
Analysts say the data show the complex contradictions of the Indian system.
They say the census reveals a country where millions have access to cutting-edge technology and consumer goods but a larger number of poor who lack access to even basic facilities.
About 77 percent of homes in the eastern state of Jharkhand have no toilet facilities, while the figure is 76,6 percent for Orissa and 75,8 percent in Bihar. All three are among India's poorest states with huge populations which live on less than a dollar.
"Open defecation continues to be a big concern for the country as almost half of the population do it," Registrar General and Census Commissioner C Chandramouli said while releasing the latest data.
"Cultural and traditional reasons and a lack of education are the prime reasons for this unhygienic practice. We have to do a lot in these fronts," he said.
The data also reveals that Indians now largely live in nuclear families with 70 percent of homes consisting of only one couple - a dramatic change in a country where joint families were always the norm.
The census figures also show changes in how people access information and entertainment.
More than half of the population — 53,2 percent — have a mobile phone.
There has been a 16 percent rise in the number of homes with television sets, while the use of radios has declined by 15 percent.
The data show that 47,2 percent of households have a television, while only 19,9 percent have a radio.
And the reach of computers with internet access is still miniscule, with only 3.1 percent of the population connected. — BBC.