India’s sanitation economy to double by 2021

It would be worth $62 billion in three years and the credit would go to Swachh Bharat Mission, say speakers at 18th World Toilet Summit

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 19 November 2018

Thanks to the Swachh Bharat Mission, the sanitation economy in India is set to double to an estimated amount of US $62 billion by 2021. Stating this at the 18th World Toilet Summit, which was held in Mumbai and concluded on November 19, Jin Montesano, chief public affairs officer, LIXIL Group and the keynote speaker at the summit, said, “Swachh Bharat Mission has generated significant interest in addressing the urgent sanitation issue in India, not only with traditional actors such as international organizations, but also with the private sector.” Lixil is an international organization working on water and sanitation.

Other speakers also stressed upon the fact that merely existence of toilets will not make the world attain open-defecation free status by 2030. Founder of World Toilet Organization Jack Sim said, “We believe in the necessity of a comprehensive behavioural change strategy to focus on bringing a change in people’s mindset and also provide sustainable solution for easy access. The problem of open defecation is not only restricted to India. It has not only taken many lives, but has also impacted people’s honour. Hence, it is important for everyone to work unanimously and contribute to achieve the 100% open-defecation free target.”

According to World Health Organization (WHO), around 2.3 billion people in the world do not have access to clean, safe and reliable toilets. They have to walk for miles every day to reach a safe spot where they can relieve themselves in the open. This leads to exposure to life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma. In addition, inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 280, 000 deaths worldwide, annually. That’s not iy. Open defecation also leads to rapes, humiliation and school drop-outs, especially among females, the speakers at the conference said.

Hiranya Borah, deputy director general, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, received World Toilet Peace Prize on behalf of the government. Also, Maharashtra’s chief minister Devendra Fadnavis attended the summit. The summit was organized by World Toilet Organisation, a global non-profit working in the areas of water and sanitation.

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