Elaborating the terms, sanitation and affordability, Konlade noted, “Sanitation has come to the forefront of conversations. Urban areas still do not have the need or focus on sanitation related discussions. This discussion assumes a different meaning and importance when we talk about rural areas.”
Talking about the role of private sector in sanitation, Waghela said, “Corporates have a critical role to play in sanitation and hygiene space. However, affordability is different for different people. But what comes first is the willingness.”
Given that it was initially the government’s responsibility to provide these services, it is lacking somewhere cause other players have to pool in. Elaborating on this, Dr Singh said, “It is all about the mindset. We try to reiterate that a toilet safeguards the dignity and saves upto Rs 75,000 for individuals especially in terms of medical care.”
Recognising this fact, BW Businessworld held a panel discussion on the issue “Making Hygiene and Sanitation Affordable: An Important Social Impact In The Current Scenario". The panel was moderated by Urvi Shrivastav, Editorial BW Businessworld, and saw the participation of Natasha Patel, CEO, India Sanitation Coalition, Divyang Waghela, Head, WaSH, TATA Trusts, Pratibha Singh, ‘WASH in Institutes and MHM', Specialist In India Country Office, UNICEF, Amit Konlade, Leader, Global SCM and Operations, SATO.
This issue is gaining focus now more than ever before. This can be seen in the changing outlook of the government. Elaborating on this, Konlade noted, “The government focus on Swacch Bharat, along with private sector and NGOs has drawn the focus to this department.”
While hygiene is emerging as a burning issue, the nation still has a long way to go.