Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to corporate houses to join the cause of rural sanitation, software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Bharti Foundation, the development arm of Bharti Enterprises, announced that they will both earmark Rs 100 crore each to be spent on building toilets in rural India.
TCS, the country’s largest software services exporter, said on Monday that it would finance hygienic sanitation facilities for girl students across 10,000 schools in the country under the PM’s ‘Clean India’ initiative. “This significant investment in school sanitation will help children, especially girl students, to participate in school education for a longer period of time and play a larger economic role in their communities,” the company said in a statement.
On the decision, N Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD said, “We firmly believe that achieving the mission of providing hygienic sanitation for girl students will have a tangible impact on the level of education achievement and development of India’s next generation.”
Bharti Foundation said that it will invest up to Rs 100 crore in constructing toilets in Ludhiana over the next three years. Under this, the Foundation will invest in constructing toilets while reaching out to every rural household lacking such facilities in the district, over the next three years. In addition to rural household sanitation, the ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ will also invest in improving sanitation facilities in government schools in rural Ludhiana by building new toilets for girls, where no such facilities exist.
“It is our commitment that no single household or school in rural Ludhiana will be without a toilet by the end of this tenure,” Bharti Foundation chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said in a statement. These initiatives will be supported by the two group companies — Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel.
Stressing on the “dignity of women”, Modi had in his Independence Day speech urged parliamentarians and the corporate sector to help build separate toilets for girls in schools across the country by next year.
“I want to start one work from today. There should be a toilet in all the schools of our country. A separate toilet for girls … it is only then our girls will not have to quit schools,” Modi had said.
“I urge all MPs using MPLADS funds, spend your money in building toilets in schools. I also appeal to the corporate sector of our country. Under the Corporate Social Responsibility, whatever you are spending, give priority to building toilets in schools,” he said.