The surprising truth of open defecation in India | Sangita Vyas | TEDxWalledCity

  • katma 31 Tem 2015
  • In this TEDx Talk Sangita Vyas shares the unheared and little understood reality of open defecation in India.

    Its a well known fact that most of the open defecation in the world happens in India, social scientists and the government were struggling to understand why? Is it because we don't have enough toilets? Is it because we don't have enough money? The enormity of the problem was getting worse, 300,000 children lose their lives to preventable diseases related to sanitation and open defecation and most rural children face physical and mental stunting.

    The answer as Sangita found in her country wide survey - is couter intuitive and very surprising. Listen to her talk to know the surprising truth of open defecation in India.
    Sangita is broadly interested in the politics and economics of inequality and making services work in India.

    She grew up in Dallas, Texas, and received a BS from the University of Pennsylvania. After college, Sangita spent several years working in New York in economic consulting but soon became discontent and moved to India where she oversaw a randomized evaluation of a micro-insurance program for farmers in Gujarat with the Centre for Microfinance.

    Sangita holds an MPA in Economics and Public Policy with a Concentration in Urban Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

YORUMLAR • 8 328

  • Doctor Dividend
    Doctor Dividend 16 saatler önce

    Squat survey = turd accounting?

  • cool goggles kid
    cool goggles kid 20 saatler önce

    india shits on the floor because they are more schwifty then us

  • Halfdanr Hamarrhjarta

    It sounds to me like a mixed problem of ignorance on health and sanitation, racism, and religious beliefs. Is that a fair assessment?

  • Ganesan R
    Ganesan R Gün önce

    NGO Gramalaya Tiruchi, Providing Toilet to a rural area in and around Tiruchi, Pudukkotai Dt

  • Roald %
    Roald % Gün önce

    Is this why curry looks the same going in as it does going out?

  • Roald %
    Roald % Gün önce

    They already have the largest latrine in the world: the Ganges river

  • franz stockmann
    franz stockmann Gün önce

    Ummm I'll have that chai with the barnyard spice on your fingers!

  • franz stockmann
    franz stockmann Gün önce +1

    Ummm just when I was contemplating a trip to India! A billion plus people with medieval beliefs!

  • franz stockmann
    franz stockmann Gün önce


  • Akarshit Mani
    Akarshit Mani Gün önce

    India is country in which people live with old mentalty

  • Ric Rovey
    Ric Rovey Gün önce

    That's a lot of 💩

  • A SH
    A SH 2 gün önce

    How about,,, you and the rest of the world,, CURB your BREEDING! there are too many people on this planet,,, if its not disease that will kill our children it will be starvation... STOP BREEDING! We need to cut the world population in HALF!

  • lata misra
    lata misra 2 gün önce

    Stories made out of imagination..I have lived in India for 50 yrs and still have not heard stories the kind u r saying

  • lata misra
    lata misra 2 gün önce

    U r mad Sangita...showing our culture in bad wsy

  • Gerald O'Hare
    Gerald O'Hare 2 gün önce

    My grandparents had an outhouse for their country home but plumbing in the city home. Later on as I grew up the country house got plumbing. You used corn Cobbs to wipe yourself in the outhouse then the Cobb was tossed down the hole. I’m 73 so it wasn’t that long ago.

  • ACB 2K
    ACB 2K 3 gün önce +1

    Thats why I'll NEVER eat from an Indian restaurants again.

  • Angie loves fishsticks
    Angie loves fishsticks 3 gün önce

    There has to be a way it can be forced upon people. It's a life and death issue for children ffs.

  • Niccolò Machiavelli
    Niccolò Machiavelli 3 gün önce

    How do u collect open defecation data???

  • Thia Love
    Thia Love 4 gün önce

    Turding is you don't have enough toilets to handle the group of asses which MUST turd...kinda like San Francisco! I guess SF is trying to do global awareness...😰

  • Live Free
    Live Free 4 gün önce

    Aaah there we have it ......the untouchables

  • Live Free
    Live Free 4 gün önce

    I have been to India and seen it ......more to the point you can smell India from an aeroplane coming in to land never leaves your nostrils

  • mozzy747
    mozzy747 4 gün önce

    Democratic ? really ? You have a caste system so how can you have a democracy

    • Dany Donzogpa
      Dany Donzogpa 3 gün önce

      Yeah caste system is still in villages

  • Sunita Rao Kueng
    Sunita Rao Kueng 4 gün önce

    Where does one empty the contents of a filled up latrine???

  • Sindhu Chandran
    Sindhu Chandran 4 gün önce

    It's a cultural thing. People are changing. India is changing. Unlike before, steps are being taken to stop people from pooping in public. I have toured a lot of India and I personally haven't been without a toilet ever. It takes a lot of time to clean a country as big as India and as dense as India. V need to first clean our head and our surrounding ll get cleaned right behind. Good effort thou with lots of errors

  • James Purcer
    James Purcer 4 gün önce

    Seriously, Indians have their heads up their asses.

  • GJ SIX 8
    GJ SIX 8 4 gün önce

    Where do they carry their toilet roll?

  • Patrick Porco
    Patrick Porco 5 gün önce

    Why not have solar gardening toilets so that they never come in contact with the feces or urine and it naturally recycles back into the environment....this is a serious problem

  • Jacque boyce
    Jacque boyce 5 gün önce

    And we buy their rice? one university did a study of why the UK got the stomach vomiting bug every year in winter. They found that supermarket lettuces and frozen raspberries carried the virus from lack of hygiene at the point of being packed. So, freezing does not kill all germs. (Lettuce in winter come from one of the middle eastern countries. there is a TRclips vid. on it)

  • sammy
    sammy 6 gün önce

    IT is an Indian law amendment to poop at public ....

  • Bobby California
    Bobby California 6 gün önce

    Democratic tradition???? Caste system????

  • learn er
    learn er 7 gün önce

    So, it boils down to,"Take your 'social standing' and wipe your ... withit".

  • # Kuudere
    # Kuudere 7 gün önce

    Whr's China bij whr

  • Master Roshi
    Master Roshi 7 gün önce

    TURDx Talks

  • Turd Ferguson
    Turd Ferguson 7 gün önce

    So...a lot of poop squishing thru the sandals.

  • Lawrence Lancelot
    Lawrence Lancelot 7 gün önce +3

    The Squat Survey 🤣🤣🤣

  • harry viking
    harry viking 8 gün önce

    The reason I never go to india, is because it reminds me of an open sewer!!! And it is!!

  • Ancient Fern
    Ancient Fern 8 gün önce

    I think they need to be educated on the reality that the poop is killing other peoples children, bad Karma might be getting pooped out of you but its put back in your life if you're killing people.

  • Sean Brennan
    Sean Brennan 8 gün önce

    Not to mention they use their hand to wipe

  • Sean Brennan
    Sean Brennan 8 gün önce +1

    Now the smell makes sense

  • Isuzu Bighorn
    Isuzu Bighorn 8 gün önce

    These are resilient people who will survive after WW3 !

  • Lumpysmack Princess
    Lumpysmack Princess 8 gün önce

    Unbelievable .

  • Mamur bogon
    Mamur bogon 8 gün önce

    India is toilet super power wasting money on nukes and rockets to go to the moon. What a backwards country

  • Paul Duke
    Paul Duke 8 gün önce +3

    On an open defecation chart updated today certainly we would see west coast cities gaining on India.

  • abusharif ramjaun
    abusharif ramjaun 9 gün önce

    it's lot to do with lack of modesty, and lack of shame

  • J
    J 9 gün önce

    They think they’ll be polluted if the have to empty a pit latrine. Yet, they don’t think they’re contaminated if they use their bare hands to clean their bums and use no soap whatsoever. with the same hands, they prepare food for us to buy.

  • VanFan Lucia
    VanFan Lucia 9 gün önce

    Well, that video was a learning experience. I can remember flying over India in the 1980's and even in the plane, being overwhelmed by the smell - a mixture of feces and smoke. And I was astounded by the number of people I saw out baring their backsides in public, in big cities. It's grimly fascinating that this is so many people''s notion of cleanliness and good health.

  • Lives ToTravel
    Lives ToTravel 9 gün önce

    No wonder they stink

  • Jacob McCandles
    Jacob McCandles 9 gün önce

    My Dad grew up in 1930s rural America. They used pit toilets, and filled & moved them every few years. Average income? $1 a day.

  • Tommy Blaze
    Tommy Blaze 9 gün önce

    Imagine if a white person brought this up lolol

  • Michael Castillo
    Michael Castillo 10 gün önce

    Well that was awkward.

  • Kevin Krostosky
    Kevin Krostosky 10 gün önce +1

    CALIFORNIA is competing now with India for Open Defecation. Congratulations, Democrats ! ! !

  • Joseph Orca Orca
    Joseph Orca Orca 10 gün önce

    So maybe its good, that keeps the population down, in other words if indians wouldnt die because of open defecation there would be 3 times as many indians defecating.

  • hoibsh
    hoibsh 10 gün önce +1

    Indians let it all hang out but in the wrong way.

  • He||razør
    He||razør 11 gün önce


  • TBM Makofane
    TBM Makofane 11 gün önce

    Spitting, Poo, dirt all over...the reasons I will delay my visit to India.

  • Buster Biloxi
    Buster Biloxi 11 gün önce +1

    "The Squat Survey". Nice title.

  • Buster Biloxi
    Buster Biloxi 11 gün önce

    Ted has too many talks by speakers who are not naturally good speakers.

  • DJ Jordan
    DJ Jordan 11 gün önce

    India is way over populated especially with the uneducated slaves the others like to use.

  • Andrea Taylor
    Andrea Taylor 12 gün önce

    Wow so sad to hear children are being made ill by it, it has to stop!

  • Arnob Chatterjee
    Arnob Chatterjee 12 gün önce

    where from did you get the data of 100 -1000 children die because of open defecation following a bacterial infection
    . ( reference please)

  • Candy Banks
    Candy Banks 12 gün önce +1

    It's a problem; but this too shall some field no doubt.

  • Wholesome Meli
    Wholesome Meli 12 gün önce +1

    I’ve seen so many bad things about India n it’s not the open 💩

  • Timothy mamba
    Timothy mamba 12 gün önce +3

    I am a Kenyan and I have never seen such a latrine in Kenya. I am deeply disturbed and appalled by what has been shown about Kenya. I highly doubt whether you've been to Kenya.. SMH

  • Munkastrap4
    Munkastrap4 12 gün önce

    My grandparents were from Germany, born in the twenties and preferred going to the toilet in the open. My grandmother would actually walk past her toilet near the back door and go and pee in the back yard. I never understood why. I believe it might have been a money saver as they also would not flush the toilet for days unless someone maybe had done a number two that required it

  • Ben
    Ben 13 gün önce

    The 1st line of the speech ... India has a lot to be proud of ... democracy, diversity .... lol ... seriously?

  • Iron Man
    Iron Man 14 gün önce

    I am from India and to be honest Northeastern people of India never do open defecation, this is why her speech sounds irrelevant to me. However I am preety sure that there are few specific communities who do so and many Indians know that as well. If government had invested properly in Northeast it would have been a major cultural & economical hub in Asia because people here are atleast cultured same goes for south Indians as well but their economic growth is higher.. North Indian states like Bihar & U.P really needs an upgrade for its people.

  • Clinton Hayes
    Clinton Hayes 14 gün önce

    Convieniatly, she left out how they wipe their ass,I been thete...take a guess ... look In stores for toilet paper..find any?they have nukes but no paper..maybe we are backwards?once again TED cuts it short ,I'm getting tired of them.

  • Art-Tastic Creations
    Art-Tastic Creations 15 gün önce +5

    They should use composting toilets, it's actually a good idea. I'm surprised more people don't use them in general.

  • Science Geek
    Science Geek 16 gün önce

    Still World Bank Data says there is 40% open defecation in India. Highest compared to other countries around.

  • David Church
    David Church 16 gün önce

    I don;t see a problem in rural areas and open farmland/steppes or similar, where Indians return their fertiliser to the soil OFF the beaten path and amongst the wild bushes and trees.
    Unfortunately, Britain is plagued with a huge number of people who leave piles of stinking faeces on pavements and paths, often open, but in recent years also often in plastic bags, which are a dreadful hazard to those trimming the grass along the paths, and due to the risk of worms in pooch poo, when left outside schools and places frequented by children.
    Before criticising India's rural population for doing a sensible thing (hopefully in private!), how about cleaning up our own act in towns and cities in the supposedly civilised world?