With this assistance from NRIs, India could build over 12 crore toilets by 2019 to realise PM Narendra Modi’s Clean India vision.
If all NRIs came forward, India could easily become open defecation free by 2019, thus realizing Indian PM Modi’s Clean India vision. According to Mr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh International, who was recently in London for a conference on Smart Cities, “India could be open-defecation free by 2019 if the 2 crore non-resident Indians (NRIs) contribute to building 6 toilets over the span of three years”. He also provided an elaborate overview, suggesting that the 2019 target could be met with ease if the nearly 2 crore NRIs each contributes to building six toilets over a span of three years.
Importantly, an individual toilet costs approximately $500, which means six toilets would cost a total of $3,000 (Rs. 2 lakh) a cost that could be spread over a period of three years.
Sulabh claims to engage over 50,000 people and has so far constructed nearly 1.3 million household toilets and 8,500 public toilets. Under corporate social responsibility (CSR), the NGO is collaborating with a number of public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the country and corporate houses to construct public and individual toilets across the country.
The Indian Prime Minister Modi has helped spread the message of Swachh Bharat by repeatedly urging people through his words and action. “A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” said the Indian PM as he launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014. Referring to the cleanliness problem back home, with which even the NRIs associate, Modi has repeatedly tried to engage the NRI audiences about his vision of a clean India. In the US, he has asked the NRIs, “Mahatma Gandhi gave us freedom, what did we give him?” On 2nd October 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission was launched throughout length and breadth of the country as a national movement.
It is very rare that any political leader has such popularity outside the boundaries of his own country and if the NRIs listen to him, and act accordingly then his clean India vision is surely to get the require impetus.

by Ashwani Srivastava

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