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Gary White, Matt Damon’s partner in Water.org, praises India’s efforts to clean up

Water.org co-founder and Hollywood star Matt Damon had visited India with CEO Gary White in 2013. White lauds PM Narendra Modi’s scheme that reimburses people for the cost of building a basic toilet.

environment Updated: Aug 28, 2017 17:18 IST
Neha Sharma
Neha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Gary White,Matt Damon,Akshay Kumar
Matt Damon and Gary White with school children in India.(Praveen Sundaram - Photoyogi.com)

Gary White, Hollywood actor Matt Damon’s partner in Water.org — a non-profit organisation that helps people in the developing world with access to safe drinking water and sanitation — is all praise for India’s endeavours towards ending open defecation and cleaning up.

White, who was on TIME’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011, had visited India with Damon in 2013. Recalling his interactions with people, who benefited from the organisation’s efforts, he says, “I remember meeting a woman near Bangalore, who was paying about Rs 1,200 a month for access to a toilet and safe drinking water for her family. She was able to secure a loan for a water connection and to build a toilet through our WaterCredit programme. As it turned out, her loan payment was exactly Rs 1,200 a month and after about 18 months, she was free and clear. Now, she pays a small tariff for her water, saving her family money and time.”

Gary White and Matt Damon founded Water.org in 2009. (Praveen Sundaram - Photoyogi.com)

While lauds the Indian government’s efforts towards cleaning up the country. “People want to build the kind of bathroom they feel proud to own, use, and take care of. It is important that we involve the individual in the choice of what to build and it is terrific that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a scheme that reimburses people for the cost of building a basic toilet,” says White.

“The PM’s vision has created the right environment to solve this crisis in India and collaboration between the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, NGOs like Water.org and development banks like the World Bank has sped up the process of making a Clean India a reality,” he adds.

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First Published: Aug 28, 2017 17:11 IST