On World Toilet Day, a day highlighting the crucial link between sanitation, public health, and a safe environment. The impact of poor sanitation is felt most by the underprivileged, especially women and girls, who bear the brunt with compromised health and limited education opportunities.
ITC actively contributes to enhancing sanitation access in India, with a comprehensive program aligned to the 'Swachh Bharat Mission'. The programme focuses on preventing open defecation through toilet construction and behavioral change, empowering thousands to lead dignified lives.
To ensure safe sanitation, the program assists with building individual and community toilets on a cost-sharing basis. High-impact awareness campaigns promote toilet ownership, consistent use, and good hygiene practices. Community-based institutions strengthen ownership, affordability, and intervention sustainability.
More than 39,800 individual household toilets and 160+ community toilets across 27 districts in 12 states have been constructed, declaring all catchments Open Defecation Free.
The program extends to schools, enhancing Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, with a focus on separate toilets for girls. Over 3,400 school toilet blocks, including 1,600+ for girls, have been built. Impact studies show that as a result of these interventions, enrollment rates increased by up to 30% and dropout rates reduced for girls by up to 50%.
ITC also collaborates with the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, and India Sanitation Coalition (ISC) at FICCI to establish 36 Model Gram Panchayats on sanitation across 10 states.