Indian officials have armed groups of volunteers with drums and whistles in order to publicly shame people who urinate and defecate in public.

A total of 34 villages in the Jhunjhunu district, east of New Delhi, have organized groups of four or five people, asking them to "shout, beat drums or blow a whistle" if they spot an offender.  

Correspondents told the BBC that it's common for people to spit or relieve themselves in public across rural areas, mostly because half of the country's population of 1.2 billion are without toilets at home.

But nearly 80 per cent of the people living in the Jhunjhunu have toilets, the BBC reported, and people often choose to defecate in the open because they prefer the outdoors.

The head of the district council said locals would also be given 9,100 rupees, or approximately $166, to build a toilet at home in the hopes of curbing the behaviour.