Union Minister Ram Kripal Yadav told the Lok Sabha on Thursday that 59.43% of the people defecating in the open in the world are from India. The Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation was replying to a question whether India has the highest number of people in the world defecating in the open, to which he replied in the affirmative. Yadav, however, said that the numbers have reduced since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in October 2014.
“As per data submitted by states [and] Union Territories on [the] online Integrated Management Information System, the percentage of rural households defecating in [the] open was 57.95% on October 2, 2014. This has decreased to 50.05% on February 19, 2016,” Yadav said. He added that the districts of Nadia in West Bengal, Indore in Madhya Pradesh and Bikaner in Rajasthan have been declared open-defecation-free by respective state governments after the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched. Sikkim, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have the least number of rural households that defecate in the open, he said, while Odisha, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir have the highest.