Drinking water supply and sanitation in India continue to be inadequate, despite longstanding efforts by the various levels of government and communities at improving coverage. The level of investment in water and sanitation, albeit low by international standards, has increased in size during the 2000s. Access has also increased significantly.
India cannot achieve real development if majority of its people particularly live in an unhealthy and unclean surroundings due to lack of access to safe water and sanitation. Poor water and sanitation facilities have many other serious repercussions. A direct link exists between water, sanitation and, health and nutrition and human well being .Consumption of contaminated drinking water, improper disposal of human excreta, lack of personal and food hygiene and improper disposal of solid and liquid waste have been major causes of many diseases in India and it is estimated that around 30 million people suffer from water related illnesses. Children particularly girls and women are the most affected.
Many children, particularly girls drop out of school and are denied their right to education because they are busy fetching water or are deterred by the lack of separate and decent 2 sanitation facilities in schools. Women often suffer from lack of privacy, harassment and need to walk large distances to find a suitable place for defecation in the absence of household/ appropriate neighbourhood toilet facilities. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, and national economies suffer. Without safe water and sanitation, sustainable development is impossible.