Toyota Kirloskar Motor contributes to achieve Open Defecation Free villages
Bangalore, 11 Dec 2018: Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), as part of its unique CSR initiative - Project ABCD (A Behavioral Change Demonstration) organized a district level quiz competition for the second consecutive year where 5,743 children covering 138 schools participated.
The ABCD project in support of Government of India’s “Swacch Bharat” initiative, was rolled out in the year 2015 being implemented in 527 schools covering 44,974 children at Ramanagara district [Karnataka state]. Over the years, this project has substantially expanded its reach across Magadi, Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Channapatana enhancing the awareness by training the teachers and children on the importance of sanitation and basic hygiene.
By the year 2018-19, TKM has further set a target to cover 100% sanitation in 527 school regions villages to bring under Open Defecation Free across the state of Karnataka. Till date, more than 2,70,000 village population have been trained on sanitation through this uniquely designed CSR program while motivating the community to initiate and construct household toilets.
Marking the success of ABCD Sanitation Program and with an aim to evaluate the awareness levels amongst the children and community at large, a quiz competition was conducted at district level where 5,743 children across 138 schools participated. Today’s event marks the final leg of the quiz program which identified top 3 schools who emerged as winners during this occasion and were rewarded with medals, certificates and gifts.
This competition is developed & conducted to assess the level of sanitation awareness and contributing to the behavioral change impact in the community through ABCD Project across the participating schools which constitutes Painting, Skit Performance, Quiz, etc. Through this initiative, TKM focuses to check the effectiveness of the sanitation campaign on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) across Taluk and District levels covering Swacch Bharat campaign and general knowledge about sanitation & hygiene amongst the school children undergoing the ABCD program at their respective schools in the state.
The event was graced by Mr. M. P. Mullai Muhilan, IAS - CEO of Zilla Panchayat [Ramanagara], along with the senior management representation from Toyota Kirloskar Motor - Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President and Mr. Rajendra Hegde, General Manager.
Commenting during the award ceremony of Toyota Kirloskar’s Quiz Contest on Sanitation, Mr. Mullai Muhilan, IAS – CEO of Zilla Panchayat [Ramnagara], said, “Seeing the paintings done by children today, I am certain, there is a remarkable mindset change among the children regarding cleanliness and sanitation. These paintings itself is a testimony to the success of ABCD program by Toyota Kirloskar Motor. It is also enlightening to note that the school children being the change agent of this important campaign have brought out the effectiveness in the overall scheme of the program’s success”.
Further addressing the students, he urged the students to educate their families and neighbors about the importance of sanitation and the concept of dry and wet waste.
Expressing his views on this unique initiative Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “The ABCD quiz competition, while being a fun activity for the students allowing maximum involvement among the schools, this program helps us review the effectiveness of our project in raising the awareness levels amongst school children on health & sanitation from time to time.
It is overwhelming to witness the rising sanitation awareness levels in the villages and its impact on the behavioral changes among the individuals comprising of such students’ families, relatives, friends, etc., which largely resulted in bringing out that element of mindset change through our sanitation campaign efforts.
Open defecation is an important social issue in India resulting in the death of an estimated 1,00,000 children in India annually [according to UNICEF report of 2017]. We are delighted to note that our initiative has shown encouraging results and are confident that we would be able to expand our reach to more and more villages to make them open defecation free by spreading further awareness on the basics of hygiene and the importance of sanitation.
We feel honored that our one of its kind unique sanitation model has gained appreciation by UNICEF and the Education Department [Government of Karnataka].”
The primary objective of the ABCD project is to curb one of the most serious concerns of our country – Open Defecation. “According to the World Bank estimates, the lack of sanitation facilities costs India over 6 per cent of GDP,” the survey said, adding that as per UNICEF a household in an ODF village in rural India saves Rs. 50,000 every year [Source of Information: https://swachhindia.ndtv.com/economic-survey-2018-open-defecation-in-rural-areas-down-45-per-cent-since-swachh-bharat-abhiyan-launch-17061/]
In the wake of the growing concerns around insufficient sanitation facilities in government schools and lack of adequate toilet training among school children, TKM initiated the ABCD project which mainly drives consciousness towards the use of toilets, begins from the grassroot level by identifying gaps that exists in the sanitation facilities in rural Karnataka and tries to bridge the gap with a widespread awareness drive. The project has also tremendously contributed in reduction of school hour missing cases (earlier condition- adult girl children used to go to their home for toilet usage and miss the classes (1-2 hours). Owing to TKM’s girl child sanitation initiatives and ABCD project implementation school missing hours have drastically reduced to zero [Source of information: http://unicef.in/Whatwedo/11/Eliminate-Open-Defecation].
Till date, TKM has constructed more than 795 units of sanitation facilities in 237 government schools across India, of which 124 units are in Varanasi, 497 units in Ramnagara district, 80 unit in Bangalore, Karnataka and 94 units in Vaishali in Bihar.