Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had once commented that women prefer to have mobile phones than have toilets. With the census board putting out numbers for the “slum census” of 2011, it might be useful to look at penetration of toilets and mobile phones in slums! The data on the website is only state-wise but it suggests that in most states, more slum-dwellers have access to toilets than to mobile phones.
PS: The original post has quoted the Minister incorrectly. This has been remedied.
Cross-posted on Catalyst, with more detailed analysis.
* Time for some wonkish gyaan. People normally tend to describe any superlinear growth as “exponential”. However, that is incorrect. Exponential growth is one that follows a particular formula, like this one.
Here, we see that the growth in toilets in a particular time period is proportional to the number of toilets at the beginning of the time period. So the growth of toilets can be described by the following equation, which as you can see represents exponential growth.