Toilet Debate Should Focus on India’s Toilet Shortage


A article on Guruprasad’s Portal titled “Why Indian Toilet Is Best” argues that human health would improve greatly if people squatted when doing “#2” instead of sitting on a Western “porcelain throne.”

The article makes some great points about natural human positioning, but ignores a much larger problem specific to India:

There is a shortage of toilets that has resulted in a massive level of human waste pollution on land and in waterways. The problem has been caused by a combination of generational teaching and poverty. Many Indians teach their children to squat outside and many can’t afford to buy toilets.

Plenty of documentaries have been filmed outlining the huge problem India has with sanitation.  These documentaries can be viewed on and are posted by users like Zeca Oliveira. Some Westerners argue that anyone from India criticizing Western waste fixtures and bowel movements to promote squatting should first criticize the common practice of many Indians squatting outdoors anywhere without considering proper sanitation.

As has been proven by filmmakers and researchers, there’s so much waste in some areas that people have to wear masks. It also pollutes drinking water in many areas resulting in children and adults having severe health problems, including gastrointestinal illnesses related to bacteria and bowel disease. The waste also attracts insects that spread disease like flies.

Squatting may in fact be a better way to expel waste, but until India cleans up its waste management problem many people will ignore those who promote squatting-style toilets.

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