The company has provided innovative and accessible solution to villages in Maharashtra to become Open Defecation Free
India CSR News Network
MUMBAI: ACC’s Chanda Cement Works in Maharashtra had taken up sanitation as a major focus area and has already successfully transformed the neighbouring village of Hanuman Nagar into a safe sanitation zone with 100% toilet installation, making it an ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) village.
The entire village of Hanuman Nagar celebrated this occasion, in the presence of other senior officials of the company including Gopika P Tiwari, Cluster Head-West & Central, and MMartin Kriegner, India Head, LafargeHolcim, who was the Chief Guest of the programme, and officially declared Hanuman Nagar Village as ODF in the presence of Sarpanch Yenak and all Panchayat members.
Sanitation, especially in rural areas, continues to remain a major concern, mainly due to two root causes – lack of awareness around the ill-effects of open defecation and lack of relevant infrastructure. ACC Chanda Cement Works, collaborated with Gramodyog Sangh to create a Green Building Center in the town of Bhadravati in Chandrapur District, as part of a ’Sanitation for Life’ programme. The Green Building Center, apart from being a one-stop shop for affordable and environment-friendly building materials, also houses a Sanitation Park, which displays models of individual toilet designs, available at affordable rates for villagers to purchase.
Pratyush Panda, Head CSR, ACC Limited, further explained, “The first step in fighting this concern was to create awareness. Therefore, in association with the local community, representatives and the Gram Panchayat, a massive awareness drive was organized, educating villagers about the hazards of open defecation and urging them to install toilets in their individual homes/common premises, thus making villages free from open defecation.”
Hanuman Nagar Gram Panchayat appreciated efforts made by ACC and its success, by recalling that, this campaign started a year back, and within six months, saw people coming forward and agreeing to the idea of having toilets constructed at home. Villagers visited the Sanitation Park in the Green Building Center and gradually started construction of individual toilets. Finally, March 2016 became a milestone where 100% toilet construction work was completed in the village. Totally, 42 toilets were constructed with joint efforts and 110 by individuals. The Chief Guest honoured six villagers for their enormous contribution towards construction of toilets. The beauty of the project is that the beneficiary contributed 50% of the cost of construction and rest was borne by ACC Limited, under its CSR initiative.
ACC Limited, has been actively involved in improving quality of life in the many villages surrounding their plants across the country. ACC Limited’s key CSR activities include Arogyam, Vidya, Utkarsha, Liesa, Swavlamban, Sampurna Swachhata, Savrakshit Paryavaran, Drona, Disha, #SaveKidsLives and infrastructural development.