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Corporate Houses To Be Roped In For ‘Total Sanitation’

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The District Rural Development Agency is roping in partners – corporate sector and public sector units – for its efforts to ensure total sanitation in Vellore district.

Collector S.A. Raman along with DRDA’s project director M. Manohar Singh had convened a meeting with representatives of a number of industries and banks.

Representatives from BHEL, TVS, MRF, Ultratech, leather industries associations from Ranipet, Ambur and Vaniyambadi, hotel industry association, and banks such as Indian Bank, State Bank of India and ICICI participated in the meeting, Mr. Singh said.

“The objective is to rope in industries for the total sanitation initiatives under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. They are already doing CSR activities, and we have requested them to join us,” he added.

In Vellore district, nearly 2.75 lakh rural households do not have toilets. During 2015-2016, 37,000 toilets were constructed.

As many as 80,919 toilets would be constructed in 2016-2017 under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme.

The aim is to make the district as “open defecation free” in three years. In 2016-2017, the district administration is planning to announce 220 village panchayats as open defecation free. It also plans to put in place solid waste management in 534 village panchayats and separate toilets for boys and girls in all schools.

So how can corporates help? As per SBM’s framework, they could adopt villages or blocks and help them become open defecation free, and also improve solid and liquid waste management.

The corporate companies can participate in clean-up and maintenance of iconic places, develop and disseminate high quality mass media IEC content for SBM. They could also sponsor airing of audio-visual communication of the mission. The companies can sponsor inter-personal communication materials such as wall paintings, handbooks, posters, outdoor publicity material.

“They can adopt specific public places such as bus stands, schools, anganwadis, primary health centres, hospitals and other institutions/public utilities by constructing and maintaining toilet facilities.

The corporate sector could also sponsor or undertake research and pilot projects on innovative technologies. Funding repairs of defunct toilets and construction of toilets of such households that are ineligible for incentive under SBM can be done.

“Apart from these, we have asked them if they can sponsor National Service Scheme (NSS) units of colleges to take up field activities. NSS volunteers are potential force, and they can adopt villages and monitor them,” the official said.

He added that 100 to 200 houses can be assigned to each NSS unit, and there was need for financial support for which the corporates can chip in.

With the response from the industrial participants turning out to be good, the officials have decided to send the second level officers of District Rural Development Agency to meet each industry separately and chalk out plans for engaging them. “We will hold meetings once in a quarter,” he said.

(The Hindu)

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