Maruti Suzuki, country’s largest car maker, is building lavatories in some villages of Haryana and Gujarat under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sanitation initiative to eliminate open defecation. It has tied up with the Sulabh International for the construction of individual household toilets across 16 villages in Gurgaon, Manesar and Rohatak in Haryana and Hansalpur in Gujarat.
So far Maruti Suzuki has built 106 individual household toilets in 2014-15 at a cost of Rs 1.6 crore which helped three villages of Manesar and targets to make at least seven more villages open defecation free in FY 2015-16, a company note said. For this, Maruti plans to construct 1000 individual toilets, 13 public toilets and 19 toilets in 10 schools at a total cost of Rs 7.4 crore.
But only building toilet is not a solution to open defecation as many people, even having a household toilets, feel going out is more wholesome and this mindset is a hindrance to the goal of an open defecation free society. To counter this, Maruti is working towards creating awareness by using various communication tools like Nukkad Nataks, Mahila Sangathan, education and communication materials etc. Even while constructing the toilets, the company ensures that the quality and designs are such that villagers use these toilets instead of storing grains, cow dung etc. into it.
Maruti Suzuki has also upgraded 14 government schools in which 24 toilets blocks – separate for girls, boys and physically challenged student-have been constructed in recent years.