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Tata’s ‘Swach’ water plan
The Times of India — December 06, 2009

A few years ago, the sight of four members of a family precariously balanced on a two-wheeler on Indian roads, moved Ratan Tata enough to come up with Nano, a “people’s car”.

This time around the chairman of Tata group is all set to launch a water purifier. Tata is responding to the hardship faced by thousands of people in India who are deprived of clean drinking water (swach pani). The water purifier, which is made of rice husk ash, was an initiative undertaken by Tata Research Development and Design Centre, a subsidiary of Tata Consultancy Services. The device has been developed using nanotechnology.

Initially, a part of corporate social responsibility, the project now will be available for commercial use. Priced under Rs 1,000, the water purifier doesn’t require electricity. This feature mostly appeals to the vast rural population that faces power shortages. The water purifier makes brackish water potable. Studies estimate that by 2020, more people will die because of water-borne diseases than AIDS. Other Tata group companies like Tata Chemicals and Titan Industries will be involved with this project. Tata Chemicals will market the purifier. For Tata, this could be the beginning of a long-term interest in creating eco-friendly products.