Contrary to expectations, India’s corporate sector is not too excited about the Prime Minister’s call for utilising Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to build toilets in government schools, official data suggests. Two months since the appeal was made, companies have collectively signed up to build only 16,009 toilets. This is against the requirement of 2,44,934 government schools that are functioning without toilets.
Data collected by the Union Human Resource Development ministry indicates that 35 corporates and public sector undertakings (PSUs) have pledged support for building toilets in schools as part of the Clean School Campaign. In his Independence Day speech, Narendra Modi set August 15, 2015, as the deadline for providing toilets in all government schools across the country.
He also asked corporates to use their CSR funds for the purpose. As per latest data, PSUs and corporates have pledged to pick up the tabs for building 43,509 toilets. Of these, corporates account for only 16,009 toilets.
Of the 2,44,934 government schools across the country which did not have toilets at the time Modi set the deadline, 1,01,768 schools did not have separate toilets for girls. A majority of the schools without toilets are located in five States: West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
Among the PSUs which have signed up are the Airports Authority of India, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, National Aluminium Company Limited, and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.