According to the LA Times, a United Nations report says that despite progress in the last two decades, 2.4 billion people around the world still lack access to basic sanitary facilities—including an estimated 638 million in India alone. Lacking access to a toilet, something most people in the developed world don’t think about, involves more than just embarrassment and inconvenience. It’s also a significant health hazard. Globally, about 1.5 million children die each year as a result of a lack of water, sanitation and hygiene, according to UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency. An estimated three dozen civic groups and neighborhood committees offer public toilets—only enough so that there are about two per square mile in a teeming city of 15 million. Though the problem in cities is often more acute, globally 70 percent of those without toilets live in rural areas. New Delhi has vowed to clean up in time for the Commonwealth Games it is hosting this fall.

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