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 • 8 341

  • Nemesis Enforcer
    Nemesis Enforcer 11 saatler önce

    Indian people like to one with the nature.

  • Sion Roberts
    Sion Roberts 20 saatler önce

    Too busy trying to scam my grandma

  • BobsAndVagene
    BobsAndVagene Gün önce

    I'm disappointed that she doesn't have a Punjabi accent.

  • 3mpathy b0x
    3mpathy b0x 2 gün önce

    P O O I N T H E L O O

  • LoverofGOD Always
    LoverofGOD Always 3 gün önce

    "Ah yes, India the birth place of diarrhea." ~Roger Smith from American Dad~

  • culturefreedom89
    culturefreedom89 3 gün önce

    This is counter to the Vice News report on public crapping in India.

  • Kathleen Samuel
    Kathleen Samuel 5 gün önce

    I came from the carribean and the Indians indentured servants who came there after the end of African slavery, practice open defecation usually does it in their yard, their generations after them does the same, not because they are poor. Other races all have latrene or toilets rich and poor. As a child I was not allow to go to the neighbor because they were Indians and defecate their back yard.

  • Arsenio Grijalva
    Arsenio Grijalva 8 gün önce

    That's a bunch of Sh......t!

  • Brace Lake
    Brace Lake 8 gün önce

    A bright, beautiful, and smart young lady. I was horrified by most of what she said; I laughed like a teenager at other times. I think it is fair to say I will never travel to India

  • oliveblose
    oliveblose 9 gün önce

    Hmm, look it up how Indians grow onions and what they use as fertilizers . Yep .

  • PrimusVsUnicron
    PrimusVsUnicron 9 gün önce

    Pajeet my son

  • Ron ne
    Ron ne 10 gün önce

    i dont think that castes is the problem.......i think the answer to this is '''money''''

  • Cesar Lima
    Cesar Lima 10 gün önce +1

    Poo in the loo!

  • Drackar
    Drackar 10 gün önce +1

    In rural America, I don't think I've ever seen a outhouse (pit latrine) that was emptied by hand (or at all). I've also never seen one that small.
    What you do is you dig a larger pit, you use it for several years, and then when that one is mostly full you start digging one ten feet away.

  • grod805
    grod805 10 gün önce

    Why are latrines cleaned out? Can't you just fill them with dirt after some time and move to a different spot?

  • ochiorbus
    ochiorbus 10 gün önce

    Arent they,like... ashamed ?!

  • Hugh G. Rection
    Hugh G. Rection 11 gün önce +1

    Indians are tramps

  • DJ Gene
    DJ Gene 11 gün önce +1

    Darwinism. If they wish to live in feces because of their religion, let them die. Nature

  • f c
    f c 12 gün önce

    Bombing in the open is much more uncivilized.

  • S. al
    S. al 12 gün önce

    One beauty of India... WAS ... Its Constance in culture. When you let go of your 5 thousand years when the west only has 3.... You are no longer you.

  • S. al
    S. al 12 gün önce

    Does a bear....
    One point come to mind... Those stories of old like how a meal feeds twice. First the person who eats then the ground that nourishes plants. All through this talk I think the answer is too easy. Use a shovel. Go look at the stars. Have a stretch. Walk alone.... Its not that shocking to poop in the woods. And most hikers prefer it to the smelly latrine pits at our national forests.

  • Richard Brummer
    Richard Brummer 13 gün önce

    I grew up in rural Kansas where there were still a lot of outhouses. The outhouses were made to be moved. When the pit started to get full, you would dig a new pit, move the outhouse to the new pit and fill in the old pit with dirt. The saying "built like a brick s***house" meant that something was very impressive and attractive but completely useless: you couldn't move it if it was made of brick.
    I don't understand why you would bother to empty the pit. What do you do with the feces? Dig a hole somewhere and bury it?

  • christ1313
    christ1313 13 gün önce

    Eat with the right, wipe with the left.....

  • christ1313
    christ1313 13 gün önce

    It's the circle of life

  • Rashid Mehmood
    Rashid Mehmood 15 gün önce +1

    India is Super Pooper of the world.

  • blakespower
    blakespower 15 gün önce

    that explains why they are the brownest caucasian people

  • d_101
    d_101 16 gün önce +2

    Thanks to the NDA government and their Swacch Bharat scheme 25 out of 30 states are open defecation free and 99% of Indians have access to flush based toilets . The government built 105 million toilets in 4.5 years for free .

  • Isabella Cicchetti
    Isabella Cicchetti 17 gün önce

    What a delicious topic for this lady

  • Eshfaqur Khan
    Eshfaqur Khan 18 gün önce +1

    you can also get killed by Hindu mob if you eat beef

    • d_101
      d_101 16 gün önce +2

      or get stoned to death in all muslim countries for blasphemy .

  • Eshfaqur Khan
    Eshfaqur Khan 18 gün önce

    $300 a night hotel in Bombay, $500 safari trip in Deli but $50 latrine in rural Sundarban West Bengal is Priceless .......

  • Rory
    Rory 18 gün önce

    Why is she trying so hard to sound like every other TED speaker?

  • super00su
    super00su 18 gün önce +1

    I would bet IQ varies greatly in India, maybe some of them don't get it because they can't get it.

  • Seksiumutcocuk -_-
    Seksiumutcocuk -_- 19 gün önce +1

    India=shit hole

  • why-me??
    why-me?? 20 gün önce +1

    somebody call I.T. support on ... oh wait

  • why-me??
    why-me?? 20 gün önce

    left hand and the right hand they say...

    FREEDOM90 20 gün önce

    So highbrow high-and-mighty Sangita Vyas, here hope you get to see this:
    First of all, very cunningly, you have taken stories and examples that SUIT YOUR NARRATIVE, that you know will disgust and horrify the audience, and that belies the wishes of so many thousands who want a decent way of living.
    You hv striven to present the whole problem of 'open defecation' as though you are so worried about it when actually you are just OBSSESSED with CASTE.
    You are just a LIBERAL SNOB.
    These are my questions to you:
    1. Who is FUNDING your 'RESEARCH' and your talk??
    2. Are you aware that N. Modi govt. has started CLEAN INDIA program that has built crores of toilets on a priority basis ?? Of course you are aware if it, but why would you even mention it ??
    3. Your facts may be right but somewhere you hv reduced this whole issue to India bashing, bringing in 'caste', etc. to an audience that perhaps knows nothing much about India.
    4. Since you are so into TOILETS, perhaps you can approach the govt. AND offer your 'expertise', your time, your resources and everything to help India build more toilets.
    And next time you wish to 'help', have some empathy and some compassion.
    Otherwise keep off India.
    We do not need your types to come here.

  • John Madsen
    John Madsen 21 gün önce


  • JHMninja89
    JHMninja89 21 gün önce +1

    >D E S I G N A T E D

  • Stephen Black
    Stephen Black 21 gün önce

    Don't empty the pit but dig another pit instead

  • noirdesire
    noirdesire 21 gün önce

    Im not sure i follow... i thought India was a giant latrine?

  • Ima quigmire
    Ima quigmire 23 gün önce

    So instead of emptying it cover it and build a new pit? If you empty it it still has to go somewhere.

  • Vranceanu Vladut
    Vranceanu Vladut 23 gün önce

    look.. im no smart researcher as those people, but.. bare with me.. law

  • b k
    b k 25 gün önce

    why dont they dig a hole in the ground and build an outhouse on top of it? i have something like that in my cabin in northern wisconsin. every time you use it you add about a cup of carbonaceous material (any sawdust, leaves, wood pulp/mulch, dried grass clippings). In the end you have a pit full of nitrogen/carbon layered humanure. Cover it with dirt and plant a tree over it, by the time the tree roots are deep enough to reach the active humanure, it's already "cooked" into compost.

  • deliquenme
    deliquenme 25 gün önce +4

    They defecate in the open because they did not evolve with the rest of the world....Neanderthals....lack of iterest, lack of initiative, lack of education, lack of morals, etc.....Money has nothing to do with it, in Romania even before we had electricity in the 70's in the rural areas, we made a 1x1 meters hole and built a shed over the hole and there you go...a toilet...

  • raymond schmidt
    raymond schmidt 25 gün önce +2

    that is why I will never go to india

  • L A
    L A 26 gün önce

    da fuk

  • Aditi Singh
    Aditi Singh 27 gün önce

    Interestingly the harappan civilisation of India was one of the first to come up with plumbing

  • K. Ganesan Ganesan
    K. Ganesan Ganesan 27 gün önce

    Think about scientific Composting toilets.

  • Mattchew Two Door
    Mattchew Two Door 28 gün önce

    What’s the big deal? Kids can go outside find some sticks and make all the poop dolls they want.. as long as they treat their poop toys with respect then the bacteria won’t attack and kill them.. simple logic

  • Sasuke Uchiha
    Sasuke Uchiha 28 gün önce +1

    The best way she can explain is by pooing on the stage.

  • Overfiend002
    Overfiend002 28 gün önce +3

    Superpooper by 2030

  • Overfiend002
    Overfiend002 28 gün önce +1

    Superpooper by 2030

  • Clorox Bleach
    Clorox Bleach 29 gün önce +2

    send bob the builder

  • J C
    J C Aylar önce +1

    Indian media: new road created and no one has pooped on it yet
    Habeeb: I'm on my way

  • US Constitution Rules
    US Constitution Rules Aylar önce

    Live by the Caste.....Die in filth by the Caste

  • Jorge L
    Jorge L Aylar önce

    perhaps they should start digging holes in ground

  • J0SHuAllen
    J0SHuAllen Aylar önce

    you can hear her heartbeat.

  • Zen Der
    Zen Der Aylar önce

    Can you imagine, how terrible a letrin smells, I can understand to a certain extend.

  • priyanka sharma
    priyanka sharma Aylar önce

    Huh ...wrong graphical representation ....

  • MyelinProductions
    MyelinProductions Aylar önce +1

    Basic "Outhouse" system - great video! Thank You.

  • Mohamad Bazzi
    Mohamad Bazzi Aylar önce +1

    Nuclear weapons. Check!
    Toilets.....aaahhhh, working on it?

  • Karen Baxter
    Karen Baxter Aylar önce

    U ask what can we do and haow can we stop this? Simple........In Europe people were walking their dogs and not cleaning up after them and a group was so sick of it they followed these people home and then the next morning the people would find a box on their doorstep. Excited for a surprise guess what they found inside........This would stop people pretty quickly.

  • n L
    n L Aylar önce

    People are still misunderstood the picture , it is not about poverty, it is their culture, they have been doing that for thousands of years....even if the govern build them the toilets, they will use it as storage, and keep doing their business in open air ,it is Hindus mentality... in some parts(non Hindu regions) of India are not so bad: Buddhist people in Assam, Sikhs in Punjab as an example .

  • john vento
    john vento Aylar önce +1

    6:27 the guy with glasses in the lower right corner.."oy this is humiliatin'"

  • G C B
    G C B Aylar önce +2

    It could be a characteristic of Hinduism. In Bangladesh people have latrines, not because they are rich, but because their religion teaches hygiene and so, despite hundreds of years of being a part of India, the characteristic of their Islam religion stayed with them after partition. I discovered the same thing when I was visiting a Buddhist temple. The moment I walked in the expansive temple grounds I was shocked to discover a clean space. The question of Hindu hygiene is also a major cause of Western tourists choosing Indonesia or Malaysia or Thailand as a holiday destination. Among tourists, India is regarded as a destination unsuitable for outsiders, unless they are on a specialized project. I doubt this attitude will change as the compulsion to talk never ending about the problem but fail to manage to do anything is a sad characteristic of the Hindu religion.

  • Old Teenager
    Old Teenager Aylar önce +1

    The level of corruption leads to the intensity(how much) of the suffering at the bottom.
    TOP government corruptions cause MIDDLE government corruptions cause LOCAL government corruptions
    Corruption = no funding of projects such as (Ganga, Yamuna river clean up, Dehli air pollution clean up, no sewage treatment plants and infrastructures and maintenance to treat wastes, etc)
    Corruption = Chemicals are being dumped directly into India's water system.
    Corruption leads to suffering of the bottom 99% of the population
    Indians will die at an alarming rate in the coming century as the current pollution problems accelerate as a silent killer. This is the onset.
    Everything has a snowball effect...

  • YK
    YK Aylar önce


  • winnileesboy
    winnileesboy Aylar önce

    Uh, I will be so much more grossed out then I get a call from the call centers to talk about my windows

  • nastyalfred
    nastyalfred Aylar önce +1

    I knew defecation in the open has something to do with the culture of Hindus however didn't realise it is directly linked to the caste system.

  • DJ Cichlid
    DJ Cichlid Aylar önce +1

    I thought this was a Saturday night Live scit at 1st

  • Prem Prasad
    Prem Prasad Aylar önce +1

    Shame on our country that untill recently nobody even talked about the problem of open defecation. For all his flaws Modi is the first prime minister to make it a national priority.
    However I feel that Sangita Vyas has not studied India well enough. Not being able to empty the pit is not the reason why rural Indians defecate in the open. A lot of people are shamefully guileless about going on the open even. Many in rural India do have toilets but men still tend to go out !
    We need a cultural revolution to change this mindset

  • Falken Vir
    Falken Vir Aylar önce +2

    Indias Problem : Rapes, Caste & Open Defecation

    • Isabella Cicchetti
      Isabella Cicchetti 17 gün önce

      4) People who take photografies about Open Defecation

  • Meg League
    Meg League Aylar önce

    So pretty much the people there care more about what the town thinks of you and not it's purpose. Smh

  • No Name
    No Name Aylar önce

    A ted talk about pooping in public.......Are they out of speakers?

  • S
    S Aylar önce

    I have been to village in Nigeria and they had two flash g toilets and prestinene water

  • S
    S Aylar önce

    It's so mean

  • S
    S Aylar önce

    5000 years ago Libya africa egypt had toilets and showers

  • Rana Swarajsinh
    Rana Swarajsinh Aylar önce

    All you created the obscure narrative about stigma (the same which was we like to forget but you people do not) out of by asking the only twisted question "...and emptied out periodically?...? Can not it be to look at it as the same architectural expertise, as a solution to the manual scavenging to the problem, for generations, also the kind of system design where long-run dependency is not needed, be it from Government or any others? Do not be the shoulder to a leftist ideologue, Miss Western Perceptor.

  • ceronv
    ceronv Aylar önce

    All Indians DGAF

  • K. Ganesan Ganesan
    K. Ganesan Ganesan Aylar önce

    Speak less...
    Act more.

  • K. Ganesan Ganesan
    K. Ganesan Ganesan Aylar önce

    Open defecation.
    First understand local planning.
    Second constitution 73, 74th amendments. All facing failures because of corruption. Pmo admits.

  • dicbyrd
    dicbyrd Aylar önce +2

    In the United States you even gotta pick up your dogs turds

  • Lalo Landa
    Lalo Landa Aylar önce

    Some countries need to get their priorities straight.

  • ricky coker
    ricky coker Aylar önce

    I thought that the caste system was abolished in India.

  • Richard Teh
    Richard Teh Aylar önce +1

    Singapore prime Minister LKY was right when he say Indian don't cast their vote they vote their cast its going to take another century before India move forward

  • Jennifer Rissetti
    Jennifer Rissetti Aylar önce

    stinky animals!

  • Usama Baloch
    Usama Baloch Aylar önce +1


  • Usama Baloch
    Usama Baloch Aylar önce +1


  • Richard
    Richard Aylar önce

    I always wondered why that India-sourced Basmati rice had such a rich complex flavor compared to our own Carolina white rice here in the states.

  • marco di pasquale
    marco di pasquale Aylar önce

    D E S I G N A T E D

  • Pedro Gonzales
    Pedro Gonzales Aylar önce

    Vocal Fry???

  • Shasta Graff
    Shasta Graff Aylar önce

    UNICEF helped pay for this! Now we know where their priorities are.

  • p m
    p m Aylar önce

    It's only natural... The purest expression of human triumph

  • little Toe
    little Toe Aylar önce +1

    Streetshitters gonna streetshit

  • Pernilla Artistic
    Pernilla Artistic Aylar önce

    In Sweden where I’m from the “normal” latrin (that isn’t flushed by water of course) is a bucket that one can empty from the back door. It’s moved to a spot where a bit more fertilizer is needed as in plantations or other. We don’t empty them by hand the way Indians seems to imagine it with a shovel.... we just change the bucket to another one or just pour the fertilizer in the compost You never need to get messy or anything!!!
    Who would want to empty one that’s built like a well 3 m deep?? After it’s been used by a generation??? NOBODY IS THE ANSWER TO THAT!!!
    So not only do you loose good fertilizer you more or less need to close that pit down and build a new one cause emptying one of that size is not practical!!!
    In Sweden we live “with” the seasons and in fall the ”utedass” are emptied in the compost or used as fertilizer for the next season. Indians YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG AND MUCH MORE LABOR INTENSIVE THAN NESESSARY !!! NOT ONLY THAT YOU LOOSE GOOD FERTILIZER TOO. Google it and learn from the rest of the world how it’s supposed to be done!! 🍁🌼🌾🙋🏻‍♀️

    • Richard
      Richard Aylar önce

      In areas where native soil is of poor quality, the local population may weigh the risk of using night soil. The use of unprocessed human feces as fertilizer is a risky practice as it may contain disease-causing pathogens. Nevertheless, in some developing nations it is still widespread.

  • Zatomis
    Zatomis Aylar önce

    So beautiful and smart girl that wants to make this world better. I admire

  • jin kazuya
    jin kazuya Aylar önce

    Watch the beaches in India and think about human evolution...

    RDNCKRAMNOSD1 Aylar önce

    She can't say Bangladesh shes bungholeladesh

  • Nitrox Nova
    Nitrox Nova Aylar önce

    Subscribe to Pewdiepie and Unsubscribe from T-Series to stop open defecation!

  • salamuun
    salamuun Aylar önce

    Just cover the latrine...whats so hard