Kimberly-Clark and CAF India launch ‘Toilets Change Lives’ across 100 schools

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To repair & restore dysfunctional toilets for the hygiene, safety and dignity of children

IndiaCSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Kimberly-Clark (K-C), global leader in hygiene products, in association with not-for-profit partner Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India, inaugurated the ‘Toilets Change Lives’ campaign today at a government primary school in Chandanhola, New Delhi.

Kimberly-ClarkThis campaign is part of K-C’s global sanitation initiative under the aegis of the Kimberly-Clark Foundation and is being implemented in partnership with CAF India. Under the project over 100 toilets across schools and anganwadis in Delhi/NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra will be restored. With a focus to fix dysfunctional toilets rather than build new toilets, the company aims to positively impact the lives of nearly 1 million people directly and indirectly across these states.

In a country where 600 million people still practice open defecation, construction of 10 million new toilets with toilet facilities in 90 per cent schools in one year, is no small feat. However reports suggest that 4 out of these 10 school toilets are non-usable or dysfunctional due to lack of regular maintenance. In rural India, 1 out of 2 toilets in schools is unusable leading to continued open defecation. India reports the highest number of diarrheal deaths among children under-five, open defecation being the main reason. Further research suggests that 23% girls drop out of school on reaching puberty and access to safe & hygienic toilets can increase their attendance by up to 11% .Through Toilets Change Lives Kimberly-Clark is taking a unique approach of repairing dysfunctional toilets in schools to restore hygiene, safety and dignity for children.

At the inauguration of the program Achal Agarwal, President Kimberly-Clark Asia Pacific Region said,“Sanitation is inherently linked to the nature of our business and in response to global sanitation crisis, we developed a multi-country program ‘Toilets Change Lives’ to provide access to sanitation across Latin America, Africa and India. In India, since much progress is being made by the Swacch Bharat campaign in building new toilets we decided to address the lacuna of dysfunctional or unusable toilets. Further we will focus on school toilets as it not only impacts children’s attendance and quality of education, but also influence their families and reduce the incidence of open defecation in communities at large.”

Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive, CAF India, said, ‘’We are proud to be associated with Kimberly-Clark as a partner in  ‘Toilets Change Lives’ and we would like to laud them for considering the sanitation issue beyond just building new toilets. Maintenance of toilets and generating awareness among students, parents, community representatives and teachers are equally important components, which will help in long-term sustainability of the program and contribute to the behaviour change aspect of the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign. Initiatives like these highlight how socially responsible organisations like Kimberly-Clark are willing to go the extra mile to address gaps that exist in the sanitation infrastructure.’’

In its endeavor to focus on children as future change agents, K-C Huggies Toilets Change Lives is addressing specific barriers children face in using existing toilet facilities. These range from fixing a door latch for privacy, attaching soap dispensers in wash basins or replacing broken commodes to more fundamental interventions like paving the floor to prevent slips and falls, changing the water pipes that bring the water to the basins, removing water clogging, repairing flushing systems or regular cleaning of septic tanks. K-C is engaging school authorities, deploying resources for specific repairs or renovation and setting up hygiene clubs where children learn and advocate good toilet habits.

Kimberly-Clark Professional took its first step in 2014 to build household toilets in Karjat, Maharashtra, India in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Further, Kimberly-Clark is also a cofounder and key member of the Toilet Board Coalition, which is working towards building a self-sustaining demand-based sanitation model in Orissa in partnership with sanitation social entrepreneurs E-Kutir & Svadha.

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world’s population trust Kimberly-Clark’s brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Huggies, Kotex, Kleenex, Scott, Pull-Ups and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in 80 countries. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the Company’s 144-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India is a not-for-profit organization working to make giving more effective and NGOs more successful. Established in 1998, CAF India’s vision is to build a society motivated to give ever more effectively and help transform lives and communities. In order to achieve this vision, CAF India has been actively engaged with stakeholders across a broad spectrum of areas. CAF India has worked with over 50 companies and 50,000 individual donors, providing effective giving to more than 400 validated NGOs across 22 states in India.

CAF India’s wide range of ‘giving’ solutions includes delivering on the CSR commitments of partners, grant management, CSR strategy development, programme management, employee giving, individual giving, capacity building, disaster support, employee engagement, and volunteering and communication advocacy, tailored to meet their business objectives. CAF India has a proven track record of conducting due diligence of NGOs across India and helps establish trust amongst various NGOs which also facilitates increased engagement with the companies.

For more details, visit www.cafindia.org

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