Minister of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Bharatsinh Solanki has invited corporates to participate in the Government’s efforts by including sanitation and safe drinking water activities in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.

Addressing a seminar on “Encouraging Indian Industry for greater participation in Rural Sanitation’’ organized by CII here, he said, “the association between government and industry by involving in CSR activities like ensuring sanitation and safe drinking water in the CSR programs would enhance the scope of rural sanitation coverage in India, and help to achieve goal of better and clean India.”

“To accelerate the progress of sanitation in rural areas, the Centre has designed a paradigm shift in Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) which is now called the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), for the 12th Five Year Plan. The objective of NBA is to achieve sustainable behavior change with provision of sanitary facilities in entire communities in a phased, saturation mode with “Nirmal Grams’ as outcomes. The new strategy is to transform rural India into ‘Nirmal Bharat’ by adopting community saturation approach. NBA goal is to achieve 100 per cent access to sanitation for all rural households by 2022”, he informed. The active participation of the private sector will prove a great innovation.

This new approach recognizes that provision of sanitation facilities has multifaceted dimensions ranging from creating sanitation infrastructure with a variety of technology options to soft ware activities like motivating communities for demand generation for toilets through intensive IEC and capacity building programmes.

Solanki also released the CII Report titled “Corporate Sector Involvement in Sanitation” on the occasion.

Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Pankaj Jain, suggested industry to upscale sanitisation facility along with provision of clean drinking water. It is dismal that due to poor sanitation and clean drinking water facility, there is prevalence of diseases and deaths. He said adding that Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) a leading initiative in transforming rural India, is a step in the right direction, with an aim to achieve 100 per cent access to sanitation for all rural households by 2022.

However, he proposed that corporate sector and social entrepreneurs should spearhead the work of construction and maintenance of provision of sanitation facilities and safe drinking water; he also extended support to industry by saying that government would act as an facilitator in getting land from Gram Panchayat.

Joint Secretary (Sanitation), Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Sarawati Prasad, made a comprehensive presentation providing overview of current status of sanitation in India.

Highlighting the prevailing grim situation in India, he said that as per the JNP 2013 update, nearly 650 million people in India defecate in the open. He urged industry to extend support in maintaining public toilets.

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