Bindeshwar Pathak said NRIs around the world can play a vital role to build nearly 12 crore toilets.
India could become open defecation free by 2019 if the nearly 2 crore non-resident Indians (NRIs) each contributes to building six toilets over a span of three years, the founder of Sulabh International said today.
Bindeshwar Pathak, who was in London to attend a conference on Smart Cities, said NRIs in the UK and around the world can play a vital role to help India build nearly 12 crore toilets by 2019 to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India vision.
"This is a big task, but together we can do it and non-resident Indians can play a pivotal role in this. This is a unique opportunity for the NRIs to show their love for the country," Mr Pathak said.
Breaking down the figures, he said the 2019 target could be met with ease if the nearly 2 crore NRIs each contributes to building six toilets over a span of three years.
An individual toilet costs approximately $500, which means six toilets would cost a total of $3,000 (Rs 2 lakh) a cost that could be spread over a period of three years.
"If all the NRIs come forward and contribute to make India clean and a better place, this beautiful dream will become a reality," he added.
Apart from the construction of toilets, Mr Pathak has been leading a movement since 1970 with Sulabh to provide sanitation solutions to the poor.
Under corporate social responsibility, Sulabh is collaborating with a number of public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the country and corporate houses to build public and individual toilets across the country.
Sulabh claims to engage over 50,000 people and has so far constructed nearly 1.3 million household toilets and 8,500 public toilets.