Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes as well as the treatment and proper disposal of sewage or wastewater.
The global coverage of population with access to excreta disposal facilities has increased from 55% (2.9 billion people served) in 1990 to 60% (3.6 billion) in 2000. Still a total of 2.4 billion people in the world were without access to improved sanitation at the beginning of the year 2000.
In India, the % coverage increased from 21 to 31 during the same period. Although there is an appreciable gain in the access to sanitation facilities by the population in absolute numbers, the percentage coverage appears to be modest due to high population growth.
Hundreds of thousands of them die from preventable conditions each year, especially in the north, which has most of the open defecation. Feces in groundwater spread diseases such as encephalitis, an annual post – monsoon scourge in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Ending open defecation would bring immense benefits. Construction and maintenance of public toilets at public places, rural areas and in slums is a must to improve the problem of sanitation.
Production of biogas from public toilets and recycling and reuse of effluent through simple and convenient method is the major breakthrough in the field of sanitation and community health.
"Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease worldwide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities."
Lack of sanitation is a serious issue that is affecting most developing countries and countries in transition .The importance of the isolation of excreta and waste lies in an effort to prevent diseases which can be transmitted through human waste, which afflict both developed countries as well as developing countries to differing degrees.
Passengers, travelling in all the classes in Indian rails, unite the rural and urban India by expelling and spreading the feces in the railway tracks. The drainage system in most of urban India is inadequate. A good rain in any city and everything that we put under the carpet is coming out. Sanitation, in India, never received the attention that it deserves. One may get an impression that Indians don't value sanitation in personal and public life. That is not true. The problem lies elsewhere