Running Head: INDOOR PLUMBING IN INDIA 1
Bringing Indoor Plumbing to India
Kelsey Nicole Mcclanahan
Athens State University
April 19th, 2015
Fifty-four percent of the population in India lacks access to indoor plumbing. The lack of
accessibility to indoor plumbing to more than half of the population can lead to bad hygiene,
disease, violence, and even death. Bringing indoor plumbing to India is surrounded by many
legal issues such as foreign ownership, property rights, and the government. One issue being, the
need for the government to regularly evaluate whether restrictive provisions can be loosened
while continuing measures against abuse of tax benefits (Mathias, 2003, p. 46-47). Also, there
are many tax issues surrounding outsourcing because the tax law is not clear on whether transfer
of employees, customer contracts, and receivables would affect the new subsidiaries pleasure on
the tax holiday (Mathias, 2003, p.46-47). Labor brings challenges such as wages, availability,
and education level. Cultural differences such as gender, language, power, electricity, and their
attitude towards cleanliness can make conducting business in India demanding.
Bringing Indoor Plumbing to India
The Sulabh International and Shramik Sanitation Organization founded by Dr.
Bindeshwar Pathak, started sanitation movements in 2015 to solve the problem of the lack of
indoor plumbing in India. A civilian of India, Namita Banka, began manufacturing bio-digester
toilets for railways and private homes at the price of two-hundred to four-hundred dollars each.
(Kass, 2014, p.1). Jason Kass tells Namita Banka’s story of starting out as a saleswoman in a
jewelry shop with no indoor plumbing to an entrepreneur in manufacturing bio-digester toilets,
“which uses a cocktail of bacteria to convert the waste into methane and carbon dioxide through
an anaerobic digestion process” (Kass, 2014). Would it be best to expand this manufacturing
business with Namita Banka or The Sulabh International and Shramik Sanitation Organization?
Or, would it be better to start a new, different manufacturing company that specializes in indoor
plumbing? Bringing indoor plumbing to India faces many challenges. Cultural differences like
power and electricity, attitude towards cleanliness, gender, religion, and language may cause
controversy. Labor and legal issues may also bring provocations such as wages, availability,
education level, property rights, and foreign ownership.
Cultural, Labor, and Legal Issues
India is located in South Asia with a population of 1,252,139,596 (World Bank
Group, 2015). According to the Country Reports India (2015), “There are fourteen official
languages in India, the primary language being Hindi which accounts for approximately forty-
one percent of the population’s spoken tongue.” (pg.1). The currency of India is the Rupee which
is equivalent to 0.016073 United States dollars (X-rates, 2015). The President of India is Pranab
Makherjee since July 25th, 2012, the Vice President is Hamid Ansari since August 11th, 2007,
and the Prime Minister is Narendra Modi since May 20th, 2014. According to Country Reports
India (2015), “The prime minister has promised to streamline bureaucratic procedures and focus
on the much needed improvements in infrastructure” (p.3).
According to Country Reports India (2015), India’s government is a Federal Republic
called the Republic of India. The lack of vaccination is a serious health problem among rural
Indian children (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). Cultural issues such
as gender, religion, language, power, electricity, and attitude towards cleanliness can cause
difficulty when starting a new business in India. Labor and legal issues such as wages,
availability, education level, property rights, and foreign ownership will cause problems in
bringing indoor plumbing to India.
Discrimination can be defined as a systematic gap in rewards to factors of production that
is due to easily recognizable and economically irrelevant group characteristics such as skin color
or gender (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). Gender discrimination
against females is all too familiar in India. Many states in India would rather incur additional
expenses on males, for educational purposes, than for females. Gender discrimination can lead to
severe growth stunting. Gender discrimination is most prevalent in northern India (Deininger,
Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013).
Women are seen as secondary in status in the household and workplace. This
significantly affects women’s health, financial status, political involvement, and education.
Women are commonly married young, quickly become mothers, and are then burdened by strict
domestic and financial responsibilities (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari,
2013). They are commonly malnourished since women typically are the last member of a
household to eat and the last to receive medical attention. Only fifty four percent of Indian
women are literate as compared to seventy six percent of men (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing,
& Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). Women receive little schooling, and suffer from unfair and biased
inheritance and divorce laws. These laws prevent women from accumulating substantial financial
assets, making it difficult for women to establish their own security and autonomy.
There are 6 different religions commonly practiced in India: Hinduism, Muslim
(Islam), Christian, Sikh, Buddhism, and Jains. Hindu religion is based on the concept that human
and animal spirits come back to earth to live many times in different forms. The Hindus believe
that a soul moves up and down hierarchy on the basis of behavior (Hasan, 2010). Consistent with
Hinduism, a person is born into the higher class because they must have performed moral actions
in their past life whereas a person is born into poverty and shame because of misdeeds in their
past life (Hasan, 2010). Central to Hinduism are the concepts of reincarnation, the caste system,
merging with Brahman, finding morality, and reaching Nirvana; which is the peaceful escape
from the cycle of reincarnation (Hasan, 2010). According to Hinduism the paths to salvation
include rituals, devotion, realization of reality and self-reflection. If the he or she follows these
paths, salvation can be achieved (Hasan, 2010).
Islam teaches the importance of both belief and practice and that one is insufficient
without the other. The following six beliefs are those that are commonly held by Muslims, as laid
out in the Quran and hadith. (Hasan, 2010)
1. Belief in the Oneness of God: Muslims believe that God is the creator of all things, and
that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. God has no offspring, no race, no gender, no
body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life (Hasan, 2010).
2. Belief in the Angels of God: Muslims believe in angels, unseen beings who worship God
and carry out God's orders throughout the universe (Hasan, 2010). The angel Gabriel
brought the divine revelation to the prophets (Hasan, 2010).
3. Belief in the Books of God: Muslims believe that God revealed holy books or scriptures
to a number of God's messengers (Hasan, 2010). According to Hasan 2010, these include
the Quran (given to Muhammad), the Torah (given to Moses), the Gospel (given to
Jesus), the Psalms (given to David), and the Scrolls (given to Abraham) (p. 945).
Muslims believe that these earlier scriptures in their original form were divinely revealed,
but that only the Quran remains as it was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad
4. Belief in the Prophets or Messengers of God: Muslims believe that God's guidance has
been revealed to humankind through especially appointed messengers, or prophets,
throughout history, beginning with the first man, Adam (Hasan, 2010). Twenty-five of
these prophets are mentioned by name in the Quran, including Noah, Abraham, Moses,
and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last in this line of prophets, sent for all
humankind with the message of Islam (Hasan, 2010).
5. Belief in the Day of Judgment: Muslims believe that on the Day of Judgment, humans
will be judged for their actions from this life (Hasan, 2010). Those who followed God's
guidance will be rewarded with paradise and those who rejected God's guidance will be
punished with hell (Hasan, 2010).
6. Belief in the Divine Decree: This article of faith addresses the question of God's will
(Hasan, 2010). It can be expressed as the belief that everything is governed by divine
decree, that is that whatever happens in one's life is predetermined (Hasan, 2010). Also,
believers should respond to the good or bad that occurs to them with thankfulness or
patience (Hasan, 2010).
Roles of women in Islamic religion
1. Marriage: Since men and women are not allowed to date, parents arrange marriages in
some Muslim countries (Hasan, 2010). However, the final choice is decided with the
potential couple. In Western countries, potential partners usually meet in a family setting
or a public place, and frequently choose their partner on their own, although they still
pursue the approval of their parents (Hasan, 2010).
According to Hasan (2010), “marriage in Islam is a mutual agreement between a man and
a woman to live together according to the teachings of Islam as well as to raise their
children in their faith” (p. 950). As stated by Islamic law, the man is wholly responsible
for taking care of his wife's and children's financial requirements. Although Islam tolerates
men to practice polygamy, it is an exception, not the norm, and states that a man must
treat his wives equally (Hasan, 2010). Since the Quran says that no man can treat more
than one wife equally, many Muslims consider polygamy prohibited (Hasan, 2010).
2. Family Life: The family is considered extremely important in Islam. The Muslim family
encompasses the complete group of ancestral relationships, including in-laws (Hasan,
2010). Responsibilities to parents and other relatives are strongly stressed. Extended
family frequently live in the same house or neighborhood, and even when they do not, the
family is fairly close emotionally (Hasan, 2010).
3. Public Life: Muslim women are allowed to contribute in all activities of life as long as
their modesty is not affected (Hasan, 2010). Muslim women have the right to be educated,
work outside the home, and contribute to society (Hasan, 2010). Because of the influence
of mothers on their children, it comes to be even more important that women be educated
4. Modesty: Both men and women are expected to disclose themselves in a way that
emphasizes modesty. Hijab or covering, for example, is for the purpose that women's
sexuality will not become a cause of temptation or arrive into their relations with men
(Hasan, 2010). Many Muslim women view hijab as saving them from the male scrutiny
(Hasan, 2010). Men are also required to conduct themselves modestly as well as to dress
modestly. The dressing of modesty differs for women and men from culture to culture,
and according to individual beliefs (Hasan, 2010).
5. Relations between Menand Women: Islam requires that Muslim men and women
perceive modesty in their relations. Muslim men and women should communicate as
brothers and sisters, and avoid any contact that might lead to sexual or romantic activity
prior to marriage (Hasan, 2010). Although this prohibition is often affected by
Westernized ideas, Islam requires that both men and women remain pure until marriage
Labor and Education
Agriculture is the largest workforce provider in India. It also contributes to a significant
amount of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, because of the importance of
agriculture, non-agricultural jobs such as: marketing, advertising, manufacturing, healthcare,
steel, engineering, education, finance/insurance, petroleum/energy, and much more, are
continuously falling and failing because of unemployment. The immense challenge for the
creation of jobs is the quality of the jobs and the quality of the skills exemplified by job
seekers (Mehrotra, 2014). However, the most important force holding India back is lack of
education. Between 2009 and 2010, people in the labor force, between the ages of fifteen and
fifty-nine, around twenty-nine percent were illiterate (Mehrotra, 2014). That is, about one-
hundred and twenty-eight million of the four-hundred and thirty-one million in the labor
force are illiterate. Also, around seventy percent of the Indian labor force has had less than a
secondary education (classes nine through twelve) (Mehrotra, 2014). Half of India’
population is below the age of twenty-five and nearly two-thirds is below the age of thirty-
five (Mehrotra, 2014). The lack of literacy, education, and labor skills creates difficulty in
starting and maintaining a business with India.
Vocational education training (VET) consists of four segments of skills development and
is important to employment in India. The first segment of VET is only offered at the higher
secondary education level. Barely two percent of the total work force in India has officially
developed VET skills (Mehrotra, 2014). The second segment consists of the Ministry of
Labor & the Ministry of Human Resources and Development running industrial training
institutions (ITIs) in the public sector, which lets children who have completed eight years of
education, enter. The third segment was developed in 2010 when the National Skill
Development Corporation (NSDC) created hundreds of new private providers around the
country (Mehrotra, 2014). NSDC promoted, for the first time in India’s VET history,
vocational training provisions on a for-profit-based business model (Mehrotra, 2014). The
fourth segment is in-firm, provided by medium and large enterprises in-house.
The Ministry of Labor runs the apprenticeships training scheme (ATS) which provides
practical on-the-job training for two categories of youth (Mehrotra, 2014). First, those who
have graduated from the ITIs after a two to four year course, as well as students who have
received no training from ITI. The ATS has been government-driven and is reliant upon the
government bureaucracy to identify enterprises that are eligible and to help determine the
number of apprentices they are qualified to accept; because there is a fixed ratio for the
number of apprentices to the number of regular workers in the enterprise (Mehrotra, 2014).
This kind of inflexibility is counter-productive and a deterrent for the people who offer
apprenticeships. The apprenticeships act needs to be drastically re-written if the needs of
enterprises are to be made (Mehrotra, 2014).
The legal environment and government of India is very strategic and complicated. The
government is federal but, the judiciary branch is unified (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri,
M.J., 2004). Also, there is a three tier structure for the courts. First, each administrative district
(there are over six-hundred districts) is regulated by a District Court and second, each state is
regulated by a High Court. There are twenty-one High Courts in India since some states share the
same High Court (World Bank Group, 2015). The characteristics of the High Court’s differ
depending on the state. For example, the High Court of the State of Sikkim has only two judges,
whereas the High Court for the State of Uttar Pradesh has around one-hundred judges (World
Bank Group, 2015). Third, the Supreme Court of India, located in New Delhi, has about twenty-
five judges who have varying strengths and divisions of labor.
Foreign Direct Investment
Founded in 1991, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) vastly encourages foreign
investment. From 1991 to 2007, the FDI accumulated 54,628 million United States dollars from
foreign investment. The top investing countries are Mauritius, USA, Japan, Netherlands, U.K.,
Germany, Singapore, France, Republic of Korea and Switzerland (World Bank Group, 2015).
The top sectors attracting the highest FDI are telecommunications, services (financial and non-
financial), transportation industry, fuels, chemicals, food processing, electrical equipment, drugs
and pharmaceuticals, cement and gypsum products and metallurgical industries (Brody, R.G.,
Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). Gypsum is used to make plaster, paint, chalk, glass, and
fertilizer. Metallurgical industries use the technique of working or heating metals to give them
certain shapes or properties.
The government policy for the FDI states that unless a sector is prohibited (for example,
retail trading, atomic energy, and agriculture) or the investment is sought beyond the sectorial
cap or limit specified the FDI does not require prior government approval (Brody, R.G., Miller,
M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). But, it does require a post facto notice to the Reserve Bank of India
(RBI). An example of a cap or limit in the telecommunications department the FDI permits up to
forty-nine percent and with government permission it can go up to seventy-four percent, but not
Special economic zones.
Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are recognized as fast growing areas which can boost
manufacturing and create new job opportunities. Under the Special Economic Zones Act of
2005, there are many incentives offered to develop SEZs as well as incentives and facilities made
available to people setting up businesses or units in a SEZ (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri,
M.J., 2004). FDI up to one hundred percent is allowed through the automatic route for all
manufacturing activities in SEZs, except for the following:
1. Arms and ammunition, explosives and allied items of defense equipment, defense aircraft and
2. Atomic substances
3. Narcotics and psychotropic substances and hazardous chemicals
4. Distillation or brewing of alcoholic drinks
5. Cigarettes/cigars and manufactured tobacco substitutes
6. Sectorial norm as notified by the government shall apply to foreign investment in services.
To become a corporation in India a business will register with the Registrar of Companies
(ROC) (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). The ROC is a legal authority formed
under the Companies Act and has several offices all over India. For incorporation, the following
steps are involved:
1. Selection of the name of the company and getting it approved from the ROC. Upon
scrutiny and satisfaction, the ROC issues a name availability letter.
2. After the name is approved, Memorandum and Articles of Association (MoA) are
3. MoA along with other necessary documents are filed with the ROC. The filing fees
depend on the authorized share capital of the Company.
4. After scrutinizing the documents, the ROC issues a Certificate of Incorporation.
A company can usually be incorporated within fifteen to twenty days. The formalities differ
depending on if the company is private or public. For a private company, they can start their
business from the date of Certificate of Incorporation (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J.,
2004). Public companies are required to file certain additional documents and obtain a Certificate
of Commencement of Business (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004).
Bringing indoor plumbing to India faces many challenges. Cultural differences like
power and electricity, attitude towards cleanliness, gender, religion, and language may cause
controversy. Labor and legal issues may also bring provocations such as wages, availability,
education level, property rights, and foreign ownership. The paper focused on cultural
differences such as gender discrimination and religion; as well as labor and legal issues such as
education, government, property rights, and foreign ownership. Gender discrimination, religion,
education, and India’s government affect bringing a business into India tremendously. Although
there are many challenges for bringing indoor plumbing to India, there is also an enormous need.
Fifty-four percent of the population in India lacks access to indoor plumbing. The Sulabh
International and Shramik Sanitation Organization founded by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, started
sanitation movements in 2015 to solve the problem of the lack of indoor plumbing in India.
Also, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, promised to streamline bureaucratic
procedures and focus on the much needed improvements in infrastructure. Bringing indoor
plumbing to India would change the lives of many people. The lack of accessibility to indoor
plumbing to more than half of the population can lead to bad hygiene, disease, violence, and
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