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BIT Sindri Alumni Offer To Build 1000 Public Toilets

By Dr P R Prasad

Posted on: September 7, 2014

Sept 7 (BJNS): Two alumni of BIT Sindri have offered to build 1000 public toilets in Bihar and Jharkhand at the cost of US$12M (INR 72 crores) in two years, says a note released by Dr Neil Pundit, President of BIT Sindri Alumni Association of North America.

The first and the enabling contributor to the project is Dr Kris Pal Singh (1967 ME), Founder and President of Holtec International, who has committed $6M in cash. Kris requires a funding match by the owner or beneficiary for continued maintenance.

The second contributor and implementer is Shree N Sharma (1963 CHE), Managing Director of Capital Funding USA, who has accepted matching Dr Singh's condition from funds from the owner or beneficiary or Government sources or in the last resort from his pocket.

All are encouraged to propose places where public toilets can be built. A proposer is not required to be a funder. A 5- member board of active alumni of BIT Sindri and biggest donors will oversee the entire operation.

For more details about the project Dr Neil Pundit may be contacted at pundit@ieee.org.

It should be remembered that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech on Independence Day, emphasized the need to build more toilets especially for girls, and asked MPs, MLAs and corporate houses to be part of his new Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission). He said, "Has it ever pained us that our mothers and sisters have to defecate in open?"

As per one statistic - In 2011, there were 169 million households in rural India comprising some 834 million persons. Over 50% of them lived in permanent or pucca houses. 54% of them had bank accounts. 33% had TVs at home. 46% owned bicycles. Yet, 69% of such households — or some 578 million people — had to excrete in the open. The situation in Bihar and Jharkhand is more pathetic - 82% of rural Bihar’s households and 92% of rural Jharkhand's households defecate in the open.

It is therefore a formidable challenge to make India open defecation free by October 2, 2019, the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under Prime Minister's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The commitment of alumni of BIT Sindri will go a long way in achieving the goal of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and help Indians get rid of this national shame.

(Dr P R Prasad can be reached at dr_prprasad@yahoo.com)

--- Bihar and Jharkhand News Service - BJNS