By Mukul Kumar Mishra
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to make India a ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign is resonating well among all groups of the society. Even big corporate organisations like TCS and Bharti Foundation are coming forward to make this ‘Clean India’ initiative a reality.
Corporate houses have earmarked budget The above two corporate houses have earmarked around Rs 200 crore to construct toilets in schools, which is seriously lacking at the moment. This is a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
India is home to 594 million people who have no toilets facility Oriental Bank of Commerce was the first one who responded after exhortation by Prime Minister and had announced Rs 2 crore to construct toilets in government schools.
Speaking about the plan, TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran said, “We firmly believe that achieving the mission of providing hygienic sanitation for girl students will have a tangible impact on the level of education achievement and development of India’s next generation”.
Even common people have realised the importance of this basic needs and very recent incidence where six newly-wed women left their in-laws’ place just because there was no toilets available is the big proof of this changing mindset.
According to a report, Women named Neelam, Kalawati, Shakina, Niranjan, Gudiya and Sita are adamant on their stand saying, till the toilets are not being made available we will not return the home. Toilet first, temple later- Modi’s dream Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has given the issue so much importance that it has become like a big campaign in the country.
“I am known to be a Hindutva leader. My image does not permit to say so, but I dare to say. My real thought is– Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya’ (toilet first, temple later),” he had said during election campaigning last year.
He also faced much flak for giving more importance to toilets in comparison to temple. But he didn’t recede back. Prime Minister reiterated the need of this basic thing during his maiden speech on the occasion of Independence Day also.
As quoted by PMO, Modi said, “Has it ever pained us that our mothers and sisters have to defecate in open? Whether dignity of women is not our collective responsibility? The poor womenfolk of the village wait for the night; until darkness descends, they can’t go out to defecate.
What bodily torture they must be feeling, how many diseases that act might engender. Can’t we just make arrangements for toilets for the dignity of our mothers and sisters?”. How the campaign gained momentum The programme with the name the Central Rural Sanitation Programme was started way back in 1986 by the Government.
Then it was renamed as Total Sanitation campaign in 1999 and subsequently changed into the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in later years during UPA’s time.
Recently in union Budget, Finance minister Arun Jaitley had allocated an amount of Rs 343,770 million for Clean India campaign, 425 percent higher than the previous allocation under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in erstwhile UPA. In spite of so many campaigns, making India a ‘Swachh Bharat’ still a dream.
Indians have access to mobile phones but not toilets According to United Nations (UN) report, more people have access to cell phones than toilets in India.
India is home to 594 million people who have no toilets facility available to them. WHO report says, around 65 per cent of people in villages still defecate in the open in the country.
Because of answering natures call in open, these people are always at risk to get serious health hazards like diarrhea. In 2007, 386,600 children died of diarrhoea in India, which is the highest in the world as per UN estimations.
( First Published in OneIndia.com on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 17:20)
URL of the Aritlce : http://news.oneindia.in/feature/corporate-houses-join-hands-with-government-make-swachh-bha-1505251.html