2:33 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Billionaire Bill Gates impressed by Narendra Modi’s “Swachh Bharat” Campaign

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Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s commitment to improve health services and his focus on ending open defecation. Bill Gates, who was “impressed”, said it is “inspiring” to see India move to the forefront of providing such services to the underprivileged.

Prime Minister Modi has done more to raise the awareness of the need for toilets than any other leader since the country gained independence, he has been quite outspoken on open defecation, a subject one hears much less about.” Gates said in a blog post titled ‘Meeting the New Prime Minister.’

In the blog, Gates writes about his meeting with Modi in New Delhi last month when he and his wife Melinda focused on toilets, vaccines, bank accounts and health clinics.”We came away impressed by his commitment to fighting poverty and improving health for India’s poorest people,” Gates said.

He also added how Modi made it clear that he is frustrated with the slow pace of improvement in expanding and improving sanitation services across the country.

Modi, who wants to end open defecation by 2019, shared with the billionaire couple few of his ideas including installing toilets in bus and rail stations in 500 towns.

Gates said it may seem surprising when you think about all the innovation coming out of India, but 630 million people there defecate in the open because they don’t have access to a commode. Worldwide, the number is 2.5 billion people.

Gates discussed with the Indian leader the opportunity to design 21st century toilets that do not need big sewage systems and water treatment plants.

He praised Modi for being “generous” with his time with them even though his office was busy with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping and the floods in Jammu and Kashmir.

Creating good sanitation options for people is a big focus of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Narendra Modi is having many intense meetings with various ministers discussing what all can be done in 100 days.

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