Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group company, said it has constructed 10,000 toilets in Rajasthan as part of its Maryaadaa (dignity) campaign that will build 30,000 such units and free some 80 villages in the state from open defection.
“We have completed the construction of 10,000 toilets in the districts of Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Bhilwara,” said Pavan Kaushik, head of corporate communications, adding around 60 percent of the state’s population defecates in the open.
Joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Campaign, the company has signed an agreement with the state government to construct 30,000 toilets and make over 80 villages free of open defecation within the next five years, he said.
The Maryaadaa campaign was kick-started by Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal who said recently that he will give away 75 percent of his family’s wealth for philanthropic causes.
“Vedanta ‘Maryadaa’ campaign joins the prime minister’s call for Swachh Bharat. Special drive at Vedanta premises, colony and within community,” Agarwal tweeted recently.
The toilets will have two leach pits below to facilitate disposal of waste. As per the project, one leach pit would be opened at a time which is estimated to be full in about five years.
Once the first leach pit is full, the second leach pit would be opened. By the time the second leach pit is full, the waste in the first leach pit would have been converted into manure, to be used in better yield of crops.
Besides construction of toilets, the company is also working towards educating rural people on health issues and diseases due to open defecation. It is also sensitising people on contaminated water bodies and water borne diseases.
A report by World Health Organization 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.