A minister from India’s ruling party has been criticised for urinating in the open, despite a government drive to persuade people to use toilets.
Video of Ram Shinde relieving himself in a field in Maharashtra went viral on World Toilet Day and has been shared thousands of times on social media.
Shinde, who is state minister for water conservation, said he had been travelling for the last month reviewing an irrigation scheme when he was caught short on a stretch of road between Barshi and Solapur in south-west Maharashtra on Saturday.
But Maharashtra’s main opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said the fact the minister could not find a toilet on a main road showed the government had failed in its mission to provide toilets in public spaces.
A report by the charity group WaterAid for World Toilet Day on Sunday said that more than 700 million Indians still suffer the indignity of relieving themselves in the open, or using unsafe toilets.