Microsoft’s Bill Gates praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign in his latest blog post on gatesnotes.com. Titled “India is winning its war on human waste”, Gates said Modi has backed his words with action, by launching the nationwide campaign that aims at ending open defecation by 2019.
Quoting statistics, Gates highlighted the challenges and the progress that the large-scale campaign has made. “In 2014, when Clean India [Swachh Bharat] began, just 42% of Indians had access to proper sanitation. Today 63% do,” Gates wrote, while adding that he could not think of another time when a leader had broached “such a sensitive topic so frankly and so publicly.”
He lauded the Bharatiya Janata Party-led administration’s “ingenious ways” of addressing the problem. “The government worked with Google so users in 11 cities could search online for the nearest public toilets, get directions, and read reviews by other users. On streets throughout the country, billboards remind passers-by of the mission. Stars from Bollywood films and cricket teams speak out on TV and radio. Even India’s currency features the Swachh Bharat logo.”