ITC's social investment initiatives consist of two clusters of interventions that work in harmony - horizon one, that helps secure agri-based livelihoods for today, and horizon two, which equips young beneficiaries to seize opportunities in the future.
The public health initiatives ITC runs consist of measures to help poor families with the construction of individual household toilets as well as communal latrines, the source segregation and minimising of waste, providing potable water and influencing behavioural change among village communities for better sanitation and health outcomes. In line with 'Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)', a holistic approach to sanitation is followed, with awareness activities to end open defecation and bolstering good public health behaviours.
ITC deploys community groups - generally women's self-help groups - to carry out most of the activities: identifying potential households, providing information and building awareness, managing funds, supervising toilet construction, and even following up on usage. Families get a loan through the groups to build the toilet, but must pay part of the cost in instalments. Their financial stake fosters a strong sense of ownership and encourages regular usage.
The programme also works to improve the health and nutrition status of women, adolescents and children by building capacities, promoting greater convergence with existing government schemes and enabling access to basic health services.
To know more about ITC's Public Health programme and how it has impacted beneficiaries in rural communities, read on.