Ahead of launching ‘Clean India’ campaign from October 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked India Inc to spend on building toilets in schools for children under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandate.
“I call upon the corporate sector also to give priority to the provision of toilets in schools with your expenditure under CSR. This target should be finished within one year with the help of state governments and on the next August 15, we should be in a firm position to announce that there is no school in India without separate toilets for boys and girls,” Modi said.
Under the Companies Act, 2013, as per Section 135, companies having net worth of Rs 500 crore or turnover of Rs 1,000 crore are mandated to spend 2 per cent of their average net profits during the preceding three years, with effect from April 1 this year. In case of their inability to do so, they have to report the reasons for the same to shareholders.
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The Act, under Schedule VII, has also laid down the areas where the companies can spend for the CSR purpose.
Stressing on ‘dignity of women’ and respect for poor, Modi said the government will “launch a ‘Clean India’ campaign from October 2 and carry it forward in four years.”
“I want to make a beginning today itself and that is — all schools in the country should have toilets with separate toilets for girls. Only then our daughters will not be compelled to leave schools midway. Our parliamentarians utilising MPLAD fund are there. I appeal to them to spend it for constructing toilets in schools for a year. The government should utilise its budget on providing toilets,” he added. Corporates said that the announcement is appreciable and in the right direction. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon, said, “It was good speech, very inspiring. Everyone (corporates) is already doing it, we will continue to do so. He has reiterated.”
Industry body CII said that it would work with both the Centre and state governments on developing an effective programme for school toilets across the country.