Kerala was declared as the first big state in the country to be Open Defecation Free, way ahead of schedule on the Diamond Jubilee of Kerala Piravi, 1 November 2016. The initial goal was to make Kerala 100% Open Defecation Free by March 2017.
The LDF Government in Kerala took up the Open Defecation Free campaign by proclaiming that every family has a right to decent living and one of the ways of ensuring that was by making toilets available to all the houses. It was estimated that around 2 lakh houses in 941 panchayats needed toilets. Over 39,000 toilets were needed in difficult terrain such as hills, rocks, wet lands and coastal areas alone. The estimated cost of a toilet was around Rs. 25,000. Expenses were met through government grants and CSR funds. Suchitwa Mission, District Administrations and Local Self Governments were in charge of this project.
It was a reality that even in this modern age there were houses in Kerala without toilets. However, Kerala was way ahead of the national average (53.1%). According to the 2011 census, in Kerala only 4.8% households did not have latrines of any kind, whereas it was 71.2% and 75.4% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, respectively. In Gujarat 42.7% households were without latrines and in Rajasthan the number was 65%. There were 76.9% households in Bihar that did not have latrines.