Bhubanewar: In response to the direct appeal by Mr. Narendra Modi, Hon. Prime Minister of India, the Chairman of Vedanta Group, Mr. Anil Agarwal has asked his business locations to conduct a special cleanliness drive, including at Vedanta townships and in the villages located near its business locations. Mr. Anil Agarwal tweeted today saying – “Vedanta ‘Maryadaa’ campaign joins Prime Minister call for Swachh Bharat. Special drive at Vedanta premises, colony and within community.
Vedanta at all most all locations has developed its townships for the employees. The company’s operations in India are located in Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Punjab.
Under Vedanta’s ‘Maryadaa’ campaign, Vedanta Group Company Hindustan Zinc is constructing 30,000 toilets in rural Rajasthan. The company is also looking to sign an MoU to add another 10,000 toilets. Over 9,000 toilets have already been constructed in rural villages of Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Bhilwara districts of Rajasthan. Once the company achieves its target to construct the initial 30,000 toilets, 80 villages in Rajasthan will become open-defecation free. At present, 6 villages have already become open-defecation free and have been named as ‘Nirmal Gram’. Rajasthan in particular is a State where about 60% population defecates in open.
Vedanta’s another company in Tamil Nadu in copper business (Sterlite Copper) has already constructed 183 toilets in the rural area.
Separate toilets are also being constructed in 150 adopted schools by the company in Rajasthan. Vedanta’s child care Centres “Khushi’ also have toilet facilities.
A message has also been sent to all the employees to participate in the cleanliness drive.
PMs Massive Mission to achieve ‘Swachh Bharat’ by 2019 is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.
India is counted amongst the nations who are suffering from a large population involved in open defecation. According to the reports by UNICEF, only 48% of Indian rural population has good toilet and sanitation facilities. More than 50% of Indian population i.e., 594 million people defecate in open. Only 21% of India’s rural population uses improved sanitation facilities. (UNICEF Report)
In countries like Bangladesh and Brazil, only 7% of their population defecates in open. In China only 4% of the population defecates in open. (UNICEF Report)
A report by World Health Organization also mentions that over half a billion (more than 50 crore) people in India still continue to defecate in gutters, behind bushes or in open water bodies, with no dignity or privacy.
A baseline survey was carried out in 2012-13 which reveals that 9.72 crore households out of 17.19 crores rural households do not have toilets as on 1st April, 2014. Another 1.39 crore household do not have functional toilets thus taking total number of households needing toilets to 11.11 crore as on 1st April, 2014. For India to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019, we need to accelerate the program by 4.5 times as compare to present to cover this 11.11 crore households.