India is facing a huge sanitation crisis with more than half the country's population having no access to a toilet, resulting in open defecation. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has seen a number of corporates aligning with the cause, most of the work has focussed on the construction of toilets in rural India.
But, with each passing day, the realisation dawns that to build awareness for the need to use toilets is important in order to realise the dream of an open defecation-free India.
At a recently-concluded cleanliness and sanitation awareness drive, the entertainment networks Group Viacom18 flagged off its CSR behaviour change communications campaign 'Chakachak Mumbai', to tackle the unhygienic sanitation conditions prevalent in the slums of Mumbai. The company has adopted four slums (Subhash Nagar, Dsouza Chawl, Upadhyay Nagar, and Salve Nagar) in the densely-populated Andheri suburb of the city. Under the umbrella of 'Chakachak Mumbai', Viacom18 has been working over the last year to renovate and reconstruct over 200 toilets for residents of these areas.
With the aim to reinforce the importance of bringing about a change in people's mindsets at the ground level, Viacom18 has roped in Padma Shri and Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Jockin Arputham, as well as Mahila Milan, the under-privileged women's self-help collective, to undertake a concerted behaviour change communications programme.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group chief executive officer, Viacom18, flagged off the drive along with Kesarben Patel, corporator -- Salve Nagar, K-East Ward, Andheri East, and well-known Marathi film personalities Mahesh Kothare, Urmila Kanetkar Kothare, and Sonalee Kulkarni.
"It is my firm belief that just as its people define the organisation, the organisation has a soul that is the collective of its people. It is with this belief that Viacom18 has been at the forefront of amplifying socially relevant issues, through our movies, TV series, support for social causes, and various on-ground activities. When we formalised our CSR journey, we decided to contribute towards realising the challenging dream of a Swachh Bharat, both through enhancing infrastructure and building awareness," says Vats in a press release.
He further adds, "We are India's favourite storytellers and we decided to leverage that primary strength to build the story of why good sanitary practices are important. Thus, our entire behaviour change communications campaign focusses on how cleanliness leads to prosperity."
With the 360-degree approach of infrastructure development and behaviour change communications programme, 'Chakachak Mumbai' looks set to bring about a noticeable improvement in the 'swachhta' (cleanliness) quotient of this city.