Microsoft founder Bill Gates' “ultimate dream” is low-cost toilets.

And to achieve this, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will host the world's best scientists and engineers in Seattle in the United States in August to design cheap, dry toilets. This public health innovation is his “ultimate dream” though it is “not the only one.”

“The ultimate dream is that of a toilet design,” Mr. Gates said here.

“The Foundation is putting money and asking people to come up with a cheap design. And, actually this August we have scientists and engineers from all over the world come and tell us [on this].” He said his Foundation had thrown up this challenge for quite some time now and hoped to get his “dream toilet” soon.

“It should be possible to have a toilet that does not require running water, whose cost is very low and whose smell characteristics are as good or better than a flush toilet. But, it doesn't exist yet,” he said.

“Let's see what they come up with. If they don't come up with anything, then we will put the challenge out again. Maybe get a new group of scientists to work on it.”

In India alone, 46.9 per cent of the total 246.6 million households have toilets at home. Of the rest, 3.2 per cent use public toilets. If that was less, 49.8 per cent use open space for defecation.

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