ACC Limited´s Green Building Centers house sanitation parks, an innovative and accessible solution for villages in Maharashtra to become open defecation free.
ACC´s Chanda Cement Works in Maharashtra has taken up sanitation as a major focus area and has already successfully transformed the neighbouring village of Hanuman Nagar into a safe sanitation zone with 100 per cent toilet installation, making it an ´Open Defecation Free´ (ODF) village.
The entire village of Hanuman Nagar celebrated this occasion, in the presence of other senior officials of the company including Gopika P Tiwari, Cluster Head-West & Central, and Martin Kriegner, India Head, LafargeHolcim, who was the chief guest of the programme. Kriegner officially declared Hanuman Nagar village as ODF in the presence of Sarpanch Yenak and all panchayat members. Sanitation, especially in rural areas, continues to remain a major concern, mainly due to two root causes - lack of awareness around the ill-effects of open defecation and lack of relevant infrastructure.
ACC Chanda Cement Works collaborated with Gramodyog Sangh to create a Green Building Center in the town of Bhadravati in Chandrapur District, as part of a ´Sanitation for Life´ programme. The Green Building Center, apart from being a one-stop shop for affordable and environment-friendly building materials, also houses a sanitation park, which displays models of individual toilet designs, available at affordable rates for villagers to purchase.
Pratyush Panda, Head CSR, ACC Limited, further explained, ¨The first step in fighting this concern was to create awareness. Therefore, in association with the local community, representatives and the Gram Panchayat, a massive awareness drive was organised, educating villagers about the hazards of open defecation and urging them to install toilets in their individual homes/common premises, thus making villages free from open defecation.¨
March 2016 became a milestone for ACC´s Chanda Cement Works, when 100 per cent toilet construction work was completed in the village.
(This article has been authored by R Nand Kumar, Vice President-Corporate Communications, ACC Limited).