Social scientists say less than 12 percent of children use toilets in India and this is leading to diseases like diarrhea, cholera and typhoid.
According to a study, the use of toilets by children in rural areas is less than 12 percent as against 47 percent in urban areas.
Against this background, social scientists advocate the need to ensure proper disposal of stool for children, especially in rural areas, to prevent diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and even polio.
It has been found that stools of 79 percent children below the age of five are disposed off in garbage dumps, or along roads, or in open drains.
Even in houses having toilets, only one third of the children use the facility, sociologist Leela Visaria of Ahmedabad-based Gujarat Institution of Development Research said said at a brain storming session here.
While the health aspect is of primary concern, there is an economic angle to it as well, Visaria said.
Founder of Sulabh sanitation movement Bindeshwar Pathak said there is a social aspect also. Women have to face embarrassment while attending to the nature call along the roadside.
It has been seen that adolescent girls prefer to drop out of school that do not have toilets, Pathak said.
Nearly 130 million households or 650 million people in India do not have toilets as per the 2011 census.