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| Last Updated:13/09/2014

Latest News(Archive)

Latest News

Bhupesh Bhandari: Build toilets in the mind first

Business Standard, 28 August 2014


Prime Minister Narendra Modi's exhortation to end open defecation has resulted in two large donations for the cause: Rs 100 crore each from the Bharti Foundation, the charitable arm of the Mittal family, and Tata Consultancy Services. The money may be large but it begins to look small when seen in the context of the problem. For instance, the Bharti Foundation has decided to make all the 965 villages in the Ludhiana district of Punjab free of open defecation. The programme will start next month and is expected to get completed in two to three years' time. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, the co-chairman of Bharti Foundation, reckons this will require the foundation to construct about 50,000 toilets. At Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 apiece, that could cost at least Rs 125 crore. And there are over 650 such districts in the country! According to the 2011 census, 67 per cent of rural households and 13 per cent of urban households defecate in the open. As much as 60 per cent of the entire open defecation in the world happens in India. In all global maps that depict the unhygienic practice, the reddest zone is India. Read more....