India accounts for 59% of the 1.1 billion people who defecate in the open worldwide. This problem is concentrated in India’s urban slums, where...
Venkatalakshmi, a resident of Narsapur, is a shining example of a successful businesswoman fighting the odds to implement sustainable sanitation in her hometown.
Recognizing a business opportunity, she secured money to buy a series of desludging trucks, hired drivers, painted the trucks to make them appealing, and advertised them. She has financed it herself and empowered her family to work with her. Though she met resistance and violence, she continues to work and grow.
Today, she is being supported by the town of Narsapur which is empanelling desludging operators, introducing tools and safety training to implement regular desludging, and building a state of the art treatment plant. Venkatalakshmi's story is an inspirational tale of the power of involving citizens, especially women, in providing a roadmap to enter sanitation businesses across India.