"Cleanliness is next to godliness" was a slogan of that movement.
It took, more or less, a century to make the change. A big step in the right direction was the 1854 discovery by Dr. John Snow that removing the handle from a public water pump in London could slow a cholera pandemic. The well was contaminated by human feces. Steven Johnson wrote it up in his book The Ghost Map.
A board of church directors (a vestry) owned that pump, and Dr. Snow had to talk them into approving his plan. It wasn't easy: he was denying the conventional pious wisdom of the time. But they went for it.
Then cleaning up cities required major advances in civil engineering technology: things we take for granted today in the west, like interceptor sewers and and treatment plants.
Whether or not PM Modi is a politician who toots his own horn is irrelevant to this project. Its benefits will outlast everyone alive today. Go for it, India!
I can't quite remember where I came across this (most likely in a TED talk), and details I can recollect are very vague but here is a horrifying tidbit from history:
In those days, apparently people used to collect excreta in some form of bins, and dump it out in the streets. People used to drop it from multi floor buildings also :(
It was mentioned that if a man is taking a woman on date, while walking in the street he has to keep the woman on the side of the street; While the man himself is walking on the side of the buildings (imagine man, woman walking hand in hand, side by side). Why? in case someone throws unpleasant things from a window above, it is the man who will take the (s)hit.
Sorry if it is unbelievably outrageous, but apparently that was our past :(
> “widespread open defecation in rural India is not attributable to relative material or educational deprivation, but rather to beliefs, values, and norms about purity, pollution, caste and untouchability that cause people to reject affordable latrines.”
Would someone kindly explain this to me?
This is an issue of mind boggling scale.
India has definitely a problem with this - it was the only country I was warned about to never drink or eat anything outside of the hotel from friends that had traveled all around the world.
In the Sheraton the water was crystal clear - I think they had in house water plant. In the tech park next to it - it was yellow.
I'll tell you one thing for sure, if ever the world gets wiped out by some global pandemic, the last man standing will be and Indian, pissing in the street.
Without having more certainty than is warranted, it seems plausible that Bill Gates took Prime Minister Modi's word at face value, even though it was apparently all political bluster, and he should not have.
You're in the wrong place here. A look at your comment history tells me you already know this.
It's quite embarrassing to explain random pig squeals on conference calls with US colleagues. I hate India so much. I love India so much.
I'll give you an example: the Delhi municipal corporation, the local body responsible for all civil work in the country's capital, has more employees than the Indian Air Force.
A municipal body has more employees than the country's entire Air Force.
Of these, nearly half of employees are "ghost" employees. They don't exist except on paper. Their wages go into the pockets of the local politicians and employees.
India's corruption is mind boggling.
461,500 local NYC government employees - https://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/cesemp.asp
456,452 USAF personnel (315,725 AD airmen, 140,727 civilian employees) - http://www.afpc.af.mil/Air-Force-Demographics/
Also, this takes planning at the city level because, once laid, the sewer needs to connected to a larger pipes so that the waste may be transferred somewhere else. Now, people living in the other area need to be convinced that their fellow humans need the sewers and their roads should be dug up.
The roads being dug up is a placeholder for infrastructure work related to installing pipes. As long as people don't see it as a serious problem, they will try to avoid the inconvenience of installing sewers.
This is just the cynic in me, but sometimes I think politicians let it be a problem so that they can use it in the next election season.
Suffice it to say that people living in slums in India can have a lot of political clout. For example, once a large slum pops up in an urban area, literally no one dares to lawfully remove it, for fear of losing the next local election.
Perhaps the Indian society can't find commonalities to organize beyond tribes (aka 'jati' 'caste'). Of course it's not really 'caste' since the grouping is voluntary, but who are you going to shout at about etymology (the epistemology of an Indian means exactly nothing just so you know).
 Conveniently those belonging to public figures (politicians, actors..) were given a pass.
India - what I saw from going there was enclaves of prosperity surrounded with barbed wires, 4 meter walls and private army guards. And not a nice places to live everywhere else.
If the authorities and well off does not view the citizens as one of them it is hard to get anything done.
Would it have the necessary sewage handling/treatment facilities built first or are there temporary systems that can handle a sudden surge in the generation of human waste away from any pre-existing sewage treatment facilities?
Kerala is a small state in India with the highest literacy level. There is no open defecation in Kerala. Infact if you read about Kerala, you will be very surprised how different it is from the rest of India.
I have no idea what you mean. Care to explain a bit ?
I mean the man has no dignity; who brings up these issues publicly on an international forum ?
Running water is not something you come across rural India very often. Toilets are bound to stink. NO person in his right mind would use one.
This one move has even brought back manual scavenging jobs back to the poor who have little access to education or power (literally and figuratively). Skilling India, eh ?
Shaming your citizens for the complete uselessness of the state becomes "statesmanship" ? Is this guy some colonial governor ? Frankly, Modi is a disappointment to everyone.
Worse, his and the stupidity of his promoters will almost entirely destroy the credibility of the nativist camp which supported him, for decades to come.
BJP has lived up to its name: Congress with a Cow (which is then smuggled to the Butcher).
Providing toilets is important which is why it has to be brought to the forefront. If running water is an issue in rural India, what about the cities? We are not providing sanitation for city dwellers itself, just look at the large number of slums - do they have running water? In Jaipur I have seen whole streets flooded with feces from the shanty towns in the suburbs.
The problem is not only with a dysfunctional government but a culture where bribery is accepted. Practically anywhere you tried to buy a home in the past people would ask for cash in suitcases just to avoid taxation. If a driver gets caught by the police for a traffic offence, the rich just send money down. In this society you blame the government? Isn't a government made up of its own people?
Today in a developed nation one does not seperate the rich from the poor. A cleaner's son and a politicians son attend the same school and can become best friends without segregation. In India on the other hand the rich must send their children to private institutions while the government schools can't function properly thanks to lack of funding. And, oh the way the rich spend, particularly on their weddings. What kind of example are they setting for the poor?
It is entirely possible today to have water free toilets which do not stink. In Singapore there are many such toilets and I've seen prototypes round the world that do not stink, everything is possible. Its just about the mindset.
They generally don't either. Overhead tanks were not all that common until of late even in the middle class.
They usually come in hordes and attack any content against Modi on the web usually by unethical tactics like questioning your character/love for country, down-voting, mass reporting, abusing and general trolling - whatever it takes to shut the critics up.
Modi is part human and part mythical figure for the Bhakths - I kid you not :).
This. And to add a bit, it is a little-kept secret that many/most are paid workers, hired to carry out those activities.
"In 2005, Modi, an ardent Hindu nationalist and rising political star, was denied a U.S. visa over accusations that he failed to stop religious pogroms in which hundreds were killed, mostly Muslims, in the Indian state where he was serving as chief executive. That decision to bar him now seems like ancient history in both countries. "
I will leave you with this TED talk:
Never build your worldview with what is provided by a hate-filled single sided opinion.
Sounds scary beyond description.
> We need to be yanked into 21St century. Only way to that is through charisma
So, getting 'yanked into 21st century' (whatever that is supposed to mean) would magically wipe out all the problems of the country (using charisma as a wand) - is that what you're saying?
By a party whose sister organisation, the proto-fascist RSS is obsessed with taking India back to the the "glorious Hindu days" centuries ago?
Apparently not a 'colonized liberal' either. RSS et.al were similarly distraught during Vajpayee's time. Some even claim that one of reasons BJP didn't get a second term was because the RSS field workers were so disillusioned in '04.
There are obviously infinite possible approaches to the problem. This is how I'd solve it if I were the government:
Set up collecting points and pay a generous sum per gallon of poo.
The challenge would be to avoid fraud, but inspection combined with occasional random audits and penalties might work. Or issuing tokens for using the latrine.
Like that film I would imagine the incentives would have unintended side effects, like encouraging more manual scavenging. I think the money is better spent on infrastructure and public outreach. The problem doesn't seem as much that people want to relieve themselves outside, but that it is the best option available to them right now.
You miss the point in any case. By paying for waste delivered (and perhaps tokens to minimize fraud), you would create a cottage industry of portable toilets, and solve the problem with one simple policy.
Another incentive based strategy would be to make cash bonuses to local officials based on the fraction of residents in their district actually used toilets. This could be measured by randomized surveys and spot checks.
All problems can be improved with properly designed financial incentives.