The Ministry of Rural Development has invited the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to partner with it in finding solutions to the sanitation problems in India, where 50 per cent of the country’s 1.1 billion people still practice open defecation.
On the 2nd day of his visit to India, Bill Gates spoke with Rural Development Minister and the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Jairam Ramesh. The Minister called for the launch of a global joint initiative to develop low-cost, clean toilets for railways. In India, 11 million passengers commute daily without proper hygienic facilities. Mr. Ramesh also sought help from Gates to pilot sanitation promotion campaigns along the lines of India’s successful Pulse Polio campaign .
In July 2011, the Gates Foundation launched its new sanitation strategy to “Reinvent the Toilet” . Mr. Ramesh asked Gates to focus more on India and partner with Indian research institutes to develop low-cost sanitation solutions. The minister said that 58% of all people in the world practising open defecation live in India .
Watch a video clip of the meeting between Jairam Ramh and Bill Gates in New Delhi.
In November 2011, the Gates Foundation awarded a US$ 5 million grant to the Institute for Financial Management and Research in Chennai to to develop an innovative, sustainable, scalable urban community sanitation model  .
Mr. Gates has agreed to hold the 2013 Reinventing the Toilet summit in India .
 Gates Foundation evinces interest in finding solutions to sanitation problem in India, PIB, 30 May 2012
 Reinventing the toilet: Gates Foundation launches new sanitation strategy and grants, Sanitation Updates, 18 Jul 2011
 Bill % Melinda Gates Foundation, Nov 2011
 Gates Foundation could help hunt for cleaner railway toilets, The Hindu, 31 May 2012