Open defecation, which is the highest in our country, poses a serious threat to the health and safety of our citizens. It is primarily responsible for the onset of diarrhoea, especially in children under five years of age. This disease is severely stunting the growth of our future generation. Considering the seriousness of issue, the Indian government launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014.
Through the individual Household Latrine program, which is one of the components of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the government aims to promote the construction of toilets in homes across the country.
To support the above initiative, we at Tata Motors have launched our own sanitation project that aims to end open defecation in India. The goal of this on-going project is to create Nirmal Grams (open defecation free villages) throughout our country using sustainable measures.
Background and approach
A base line study was undertaken a few years across 4266 households in the 19 villages that fall under the operational areas of TML's CSR. It revealed that less than 15% of the houses were equipped with toilets. Further, no more than 12% of those households actually used the toilets, with others preferring to defecate in the open.
Considering this background, our sanitation project featured 2 major components:
- Creation of awareness and sensitization of the local community that will eventually generate a demand for toilets in individual households.
- Building of toilets in individual households with the help of local community. These toilets will be maintained in the future by the house members.
Coverage of our sanitation project
The initial phase of the project covered three villages in South Gadra Panchayat of Jharkhand, namely Jaskandih, Rahargora and Tupudang. A survey that was conducted in these villages in 2012 revealed that out of 594 households, 261 were without a toilet. In order to achieve the dream of a cleaner India, we have commenced the construction of toilets in the individual houses. So far, we have built 146 toilets in these villages.
Status of our sanitation project as of 4th September, 2017
Response to the program
Our campaign to promote the Individual Household Latrine program was propagated through mobile AV vans, and was well received by the villagers. The project was also featured on Swacch Bharat Abhiyan's Twitter handle.
It is our endeavour to strengthen the Government of India's Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, which will realize the dream of a clean, disease-free India.
We welcome your feedback regarding the initiative, which can be posted below.