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Earth Focus: India's Sanitation Solutions
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Earth Focus: India's Sanitation Solutions
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India: The Scavengers

Lack of toilets is a serious problem in India. Human excrement pollutes fields and rivers, causing disease and even death. But the Sulabh Sanitation Movement is helping to change that, with cheap, eco-friendly solutions that already benefit more than 10 million people every day. 

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From Link TV's Earth Focus.

Learn more about Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak's efforts to bring sanitation to the developing world with Sulabh International.

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
World Water Week brought over 2,000 water experts to Stockholm, Sweden in August 2009. The annual event, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, addresses pressing global water challenges. A featured theme this year was the world's lack of toilets and it's devastating effect on the world's poor. More than two and a half billion people in the world don't have access to a toilet. Half of all hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people who are ill because they lack clean water and sanitation. And 5,000 children die each day as a result. Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is changing all that. For 30 years he led India's Sulabh Sanitation Movement, bringing new sanitation technology to millions and breaking down social barriers in the process. He received the 2009 World Water Prize from Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. The USD$150,000 award is the world's most prestigious prize for outstanding achievement in water-related activities.
DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK [Founder, Sulabh International]
Sulabh Sanitation Movement was started to fulfill some of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi: good sanitation, and removal of Untouchability and social discrimination from Indian society.
VOICEOVER
Lack of toilets is a big problem in India. Every day, 100,000 tons of human excrement pollute India's fields and rivers. Seventy-five percent of the water is contaminated by human and agricultural waste. This leads to illness and loss of productivity, which clips 7 percent off India's gross domestic product [GDP] annually.
DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK
Seven hundred million people still go outside for defecation. In India, ladies have to suffer the most and sometimes they have to face criminal assaults, snake bites sometimes. Girls don't go to schools because of lack of toilets.
VOICEOVER
Dr. Pathak's Sulabh Sanitation Movement developed a twin-pit pour-flush toilet system that uses less than a half gallon of water, or 10 times less than a normal flush toilet. Today, over a million Sulabh toilets are used in Indian homes and in 7,500 public facilities serving more than 10 million people daily.
DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK
If you adopt these technologies then you are saving water, you are saving global warming, you are getting fertilizer, and it's eco-friendly.
VOICEOVER
In keeping with Gandhi's vision, Dr. Pathak is changing lives for the better for the more than 700,000 people who work as manual scavengers, cleaning human waste from pit latrines. Called "Untouchables," they are shunned by Indian society. But, thanks to Dr. Pathak, more than 60,000 scavengers have new jobs, jobs that have more dignity, and are more lucrative. And a new generation of Untouchable children will have a brighter future as a result of the education and training they receive in Sulabh-supported schools.