Mr Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs, speaking at the National Conference on Sanitation Towards Swachh Bharat: Creating Demand & Building Partnerships held on 24th September at New Delhi, emphasised that people’s participation is a pre-requisite at all levels and the Swachh Bharat needs to be a mass movement – a ‘Jan Andolan’ . Mr Naidu, shared the three-pronged approach adopted by the Government for Swachh Bharat viz. changing mindest; creating infrastructure; and establishing systems and processes towards governance. He also emphasised on establishing regulations only after creating infrastructure.
The Minister shared the Government targets and outlays towards the Swachh Bharat Programme. He invited the private sector to be an active partner in achieveing this mammoth goal.
Ms Sindhushree Khullar, CEO, NITI Ayog, spoke about ongoing deliberations for incentivising the local Governments to prioritise sanitation delivery. She said, “the next challenge is to get the electorate to articulate sanitation as a political demand.”
Speaking at the conference, Mr Ajay Shriram, Immediate Past President, CII and Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram Limited, emphasised the need to understand the socio- cultural aspects and bring about awareness and behaviour change even whilst construction of new toilets. He said the corporate sector can engage in the Swachh Bharat programme in a number of ways which included developing innovative and scalable designs and through CSR. Mr Shriram mentioned that CII is committed to partner the Swachh Bharat Programme through its Mission SoS- Sanitation for Urban Communities, and a national mission on Smart Cities.
Earlier, Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President & Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research (CPR) suggested the need for a clear conceptual framework including norms for accountability and defining of the roles and responsibilities of the public and private sector. He also urged that toilet construction is embedded with other existing national schemes such as ‘housing for all’ and ‘education for all’ instead of being a stand alone programme.
The Conference saw release of a Report -“Swachh Bharat: Industry Engagement- Scope & Enterprise” jointly developed by CPR and CII, which maps the scope and opportunities of private sector engagement and also profiles 16 initiatives currently being undertaken in the provision of sanitation services and infrastructure, either through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding, public private partnership (PPP), or independent corporate funding.
The national conference collaboratively organised by the CII and CPR focused on the scope and opportunities for the private sector to engage in delivery of sanitation services and strategizing the course of action for the successful implementation of the SBM.
The Conference had representations from central and state Governments and the Key speakers included Mr Saraswati Prasad (Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation), Mr Harpal Singh (Mentor & Chairman Emeritus Fortis Healthcare & Chairman, Save the Children), Ms Rumjum Chatterjee (Group MD-HCD Feedback Infra), Mr Deepak Sanan (Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh) , Mr Aniruddhe Mukarjee, Finance Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh), Dr Sudhir Kapur (MD & CEO, Country Strategy Business Consultants), Mr Sachin Jadhav (District Magistrate, Anugul, Government of Odisha), Mr M Hari Menon (Dy Director - India Country Programmes, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).
The conference was attended by Government and corporate sector representatives, NGOs, social entrepreneurs and practitioners and domain expert.
24 September 2015