Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken up sanitation as a special cause. He would like to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019 by declaring India open defecation free. A noble goal, but is it realistic? The political will and financial commitment is there but can the shift in mindset from building infrastructure to behaviour change and ensuring toilet use and safe disposal be made?
As part of its #CleanUpIndia initiative, TV channel CNN – Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN – IBN) invited an “all star” cast of sanitation celebrities to discuss the Swach Bharat or Clean India campaign that Modi intends to launch in October 2014. What do they think needs to be done to clean up India for good?
In the line up are:
- Sanitation crusader and former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
- Sunita Narain, 2005 Stockholm Water Prize Winner and Director General of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
- Bindeshwar Pathak, 2009 Stockholm Water Prize Winner and Founder of Sulabh International
- Vimlendhu Jha, Founder Swecha & Green the Gap
- Girindre Beeharry, Director, India country office of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
and invited guests:
- Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson & MD of Biocon Ltd
- Rajeev Kher, CEO Saraplast
- Urvashi Prasad, Water & Sanitation Specialist, former manager of health, water and sanitation initiatives of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in India
- Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Arghyam