Assam emerged as one of the worst performers alongside Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha in providing access to tapped drinking water for both rural and urban households, according to a report by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
The report published by NSSO claimed that less than 90 per cent of the people in Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland and Jharkhand have access to improved drinking water sources, while Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha emerged as states with the lowest proportion of rural households with access to an exclusive toilet.
It may be noted that the 78th round of National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) included the Multiple Indicator Survey (MIS). Earlier scheduled to be conducted in 2020, it was later postponed in light of the pandemic. Rural households made up 1.6 lakh of the respondents, while urban households made up the remaining 1.1 lakh.
The report stated that over 95.7 per cent of people reported having access to an “improved source of drinking water,” despite the penetration of piped drinking water being extremely low in many states. Examples of this include water from packed bottles, water piped into a house, yard, or neighbour’s yard, a public tap, a tube well, hand pump, covered well, tanker.
In all other states, the percentage of such households is greater than 60 per cent, while over 30 per cent of the households in the three states lacked access to a toilet.
Another 21.3 per cent of rural households reported having no access to lavatory, exclusive or not, while around 70 per cent of the rural households reported having exclusive access. The report also revealed that around half of the rural households continue to cook with firewood as their primary source of fuel.
Moreover, 16.18 per cent males and 43.8 per cent females between the ages of 15 and 24 were not in school, either working or getting training during the conduction of the survey.
Meanwhile, around 50 per cent of the people over the age of 18 had full access to mobile phones. Around 90 per cent of the sample size reported to having an individual or joint bank account, other financial institutions or mobile money service providers to confirm the progress of financial inclusivity in India.
In addition, more than 70 per cent of the households in Chattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Nagaland and Madhya Pradesh used firewood for cooking, while less than 25 per cent of households in these states along with Jharkhand used LPG.
It was also found that in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Odisha and Kerala, the highest percentage of men between the age of 15 to 24 were not getting education, employment or training at the time of the survey. On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal and Bihar reported the highest proportion of female residents. In Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, less than a third of the population over the age of 18 has exclusive access to mobile phones, according to the report.