In fact, the spread of cell phones may end up bringing toilets.
R. Gopalakrishnan, executive director of Tata Sons, one of India's most revered companies, says the rising aspirations of the poor, buttressed by their growing access to communications and information, will put tremendous pressure on the government to start delivering.
People already are starting to challenge local officials who for generations answered to no one, he says.
"I think there are very, very dramatic changes happening," he says.
Image: In this Oct. 22, 2010 photo, children play in an open sewer at a slum in Mumbai.