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Inventor Targets Open-Air Defecation of 600 Million Indians

At least 54 million people in Asia can thank Bindeshwar Pathak when they defecate in private. If he has his way, about 600 million people in India who don’t have that luxury will join them a decade from now.

Pathak, 71, invented a pour-flush, compost latrine in 1970 that is now in use in China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam and Cambodia. He’s leading a push to raise at least 2 trillion rupees ($34 billion) from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government as well as billionaires such as Bill Gates and Mukesh Ambani to end open defecation in India, where about half of the nation’s 1.2 billion people relieve themselves outdoors.