Promoted as their best video of the day, the Guardian has produced a short video animation highlighting the plight of the 2.5 billion without a toilet.
More people have access to mobile phones than to bog-standard sanitation around the world. The numbers are actually quite close – both are around the 4.5bn mark. But the implications are clear: as a species, we value a text, a tweet, the incessant pulse of blinking pixels over one of our most basic sanitary needs: the loo.
Social enterprise Milaap has set up an online microlending platform that enables anyone to give a household loan for the construction of a toilet or water connection for the poor in India. Based in Bangalore, India, with its headquarters in Singapore, Milaap was founded in June 2010 by Sourabh Sharma, Anoj Viswanathan and Mayukh Choudhury.
Milaap copied the basic concept from Kiva.org, the first mirco-credit crowd funding platform to improve livelihoods of the poor, but expanded its scope to not only include micro-enterprises but also sanitation, water, health care, renewable energy and vocational training. Whereas banking restrictions prevent US-based Kiva.org from serving clients in India, Milaap was able to gain approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to enable lenders outside India (especially Non-resident Indians or NRIs) to lend to India through their website.