96% households in Rural India having toilet access use them – NARSS

An Independent Verification Agency (IVA) conducted the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2018-19 under the World Bank support project to Swacch Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) including 6136 villages across Indian States and Union Territories and covering 92040 households. As per this survey conducted between 2018 November and 2019 February, of all the households in rural India having access to toilets, 96.5% of them use it. Many villages were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by several States/districts. The NARSS reconfirmed this status of 90.7% villages.

Rural Toilet


  • During the survey, 93.1% households had access to toilets (As per SBMG MIS this figure was 96% in November 2018)
  • Of the people having toilet access, 96.5% used them.
  • 90.7% villages earlier declared as ODF, reconfirmed to be ODF and remaining had 93% sanitation coverage.
  • Minimal litter and stagnant water in 95.4% villages surveyed.

An Expert Working Group (EWG) constituting representatives from World Bank, Water Aid, UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NITI Aayog, India Sanitation Coalition, Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation was tasked to oversee the NARSS. The findings of the survey were presented by the IVA to the EWG, which noted satisfactory second round survey completion. The provisional summary results as well as the raw data were submitted to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. This data which was uploaded in their website, mdws.nic.in is publicly available now.

Probability Proportion to Size (PPS) sampling methodology which gives results with 95% confidence interval was used for the survey. Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) Platform was used for survey data collection. Schools, Anganwadis, community toilets, public toilets in villages were included in the survey.

SBM was launched in October 2014 and since then it has brought in a lot of changes related to toilet access and usage in millions of people. Before SBM around 550 million people were defecating in the open. This has now come down to less than 50 million. Since its inception till now, SBM has been successful in stopping around 500 million people from defecating in the open. Under this mission more than 9 crores toilets have been constructed across rural India and more than 5.5 lakhs villages, 615 districts, 30 states and Union Territories have been declared ODF.

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