It hardly matters whether you have got a clean toilet or not, the fact of the matter is one in every three human beings does not have any sanitary facility at all, and this affects the overall health & hygiene. “We cannot accept this situation” has been a popular stand of the political class in power; Result – A series of programmes and a lot of funds released with no consequence at ground!
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, is focusing on initiatives like elimination of open defecation and eradication of manual scavenging by 2019. So far, 4.35 lakhs of toilets have been built under the plan against the projected target of 25 lakh for 2015-16. Taking other necessary measures, the government also brought sanitation under CSR, bringing private players under the loop. As far as numbers are concerned, yes, it has made a difference. Almost all the leading companies have jumped their guns making big targets under CSR. However, we are not sure if we are any where near to our goal.
The CSR Flow
Responding to the clarion call of the Prime Minister, NTPC ltd, the largest power utility in India has constructed 24,626 toilets in and around 16,000 schools spread in 17 states and 80 districts across the country. Coal India Limited (CIL), the coal mining PSU giant, has set aside a whopping `235 crores fund, 50% of the company’s total CSR for providing hygienic sanitation in schools and in the households of underprivileged by constructing individual toilet facilities. TCS too has earmarked a budget of `100 crore for building dedicated sanitation facilities for girls in selected schools. Under the first phase of this sanitation initiative, the company has already implemented building girls’ toilets in about 1,041 schools spread across, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar. L&T has collaborated with Sulabh International on their endeavour to improve hygiene & waste management in the Country. While L&T plans to construct some 5,000 toilets, the Vedanta Group’s Hindustan Zinc would construct 10,000 and the Jaipur-based Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) University has plans to add 13,000 toilets in 6,500 schools. “In August, the Sunil Mittalled Bharati Enterprises’ development arm, Bharati Foundation, had announced `100 crore for setting up toilets in Ludhiana over the next three years. ,” reports the Hindu.