THE UNITED Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore on Friday said that as the market for sanitation in the country is expected to grow, there is a need to professionalise it.
While delivering her keynote speech at an event at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Fore said young entrepreneurs must invest in the field of sanitation.
Praising the Swachh Bharat concept, she said: “A number of other countries are learning from the concept of Swachh Bharat in India. It is a wonderful model and many young people are getting encouraged to invest their time and energy in this.”
She added that India’s sanitation’s market is likely to increase to $62 billion from the current $32 billion. “Sanitation as a profession can be professionalised. One thinks about a nation that has cleanliness at its root differently. Mortality rates of children under the age of five can be controlled if sanitation becomes a central concept. Many young people should look for entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of sanitation.
Fore also promoted UNICEF’s Next Generation initiative that takes help from young entrepreneurs and innovators to reach out to underprivileged children.
She said that Indian business is increasingly aiming towards good business. “Good business is best created through supporting healthier, better educated and more prosperous populations. Businesses don’t need to profit at the expense of communities — but they can profit because the communities in which they operate, and the people who live there, are well-served and are well-supported by the local business community,” she added.
Fore further mentioned how UNICEF is increasingly seeking the government’s aid to help children and young people across the world. She asked entrepreneurs to look for local solutions that help children get access to health services, education and skill development programmes.
Vikram Limaye, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NSE, who was also present at the event, said: “A focused strategy is needed on inclusive business models such as innovative social enterprises, cooperatives, self-help collectives, public private partnerships and so on that would allow for the financial empowerment of the excluded categories such as women, elderly and other marginalised communities. Innovation in creating such equitable business models would be a key driver of business growth so that the profits and benefits of business percolate to a wider ecosystem.”