In Balangir district in Orissa, dubbed the poorest in India, people have more cellphones than toilets, says a survey. This is witnessed even in the most remote and poverty-stricken villages of the district. The survey was done after a recent United Nations report revealed that India has 545 million working cellphones, which accounts for 45% of population. The number exceeds the number of people who have access to toilet or sanitation facilities – only about 366 million or 32% of the billion-plus population.
Taking some villages under Belpada block as samples, Adhikar, an NGO, came up with facts that villages where the population is 1,000, there are roughly 20 toilets but 250 cellphones. In Khalipadar, Tetelmunda and Satchuan villages under the block, there are around 550 cellphones against only 50 toilets. The population of three villages is 4,000.