Yet U.N. figures show that only 366 million Indians have access to a private toilet or latrine, leaving 665 million to defecate in the open.
"At least tap water and sewage disposal -how can we talk about any development without these two fundamental things? How can we talk about development without health and education?" says Anita Patil-Deshmukhl, executive director of PUKAR, an organization that conducts research and outreach in the slums of Mumbai.
India's leaders say they are sympathetic to the problem.
Image: In this Oct. 14, 2010 photo, a boy talks on a cell phone at the Rafiq Nagar slum in Mumbai.