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December 21st, 2009
Nearly 4 million people in India are affected by water-borne diseases every year. As many as 400,000 children die from diarrhea every year. According to a 2007 United Nations report, half of the world's hospital beds are occupied by patients who suffer from water-borne diseases. In India, such diseases cause more than 1.5 times the deaths caused by AIDS and double the deaths caused by road accidents.
The genesis of Swach "clean" in Hindi began nearly a decade ago as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Tata Consultancy Services, India's largest information technology company. Between 2000 and 2003, the company launched a water filter called Sujal and distributed it among several NGOs (non-government organisations). When the tsunami ravaged parts of coastal south India in 2004, these water filters were distributed in the affected regions.
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