Rupees 15,000 cr Opportunity

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If simply washing hands regularly, particularly before eating, can keep several ailments away, imagine an India where every citizen has access to clean toilet and clean drinking water? What could this do to the wellbeing of the people and its impact on productivity of the economy?

SustainabilityNext has put together a list of options for choosing toilets in rural and urban slums which are cost effective, easier to use and manage. The objective of this effort is to help readers appreciate the innovations and efforts that have gone into it and become part of the revolution to
make India a cleaner and a healthier country.

In keeping with the mandate of this magazine – ‘Doing well by doing good’, the ‘Toilet for All’ movement is a big business opportunity for new and established entrepreneurs. Here are some numbers that could be exciting:

Fifty percent of the six lakh villages that is 3, 00, 000 villages in India are without toilets and tens and thousands of slums and schools are without toilets as well. A good number of the existing ones need replacement too.

Estimated Demand – 10, 00,000 (10 lakh toilets)
Average cost of a toilet – Rs. 15,000 per toilet
Total market potential – Rs. 15,000 crores

Undoubtedly, cleanliness and sustainability are connected in many ways. This special issue brings this out clearly. And for businesses, cleanliness can be, or should be, part of their sustainability strategy as well. With the Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he wants to make sure every home in the country has a toilet of its own by 2019, this job has
to start from early 2015 itself.

While leadership and drive and purpose are all good, this goal cannot be achieved without making ‘Toilet for All’ a community-led sanitation movement. Bangladesh is reported to have reduced open defecation from 19% in 2000 to 3% in 2012.

There’s a lot India can learn from its neighbors.

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