New Delhi: Monsanto India, a globally leading sustainable agriculture company has partnered with NGO Action for Food Production (AFPRO) for installation of over 2,500 sanitation units across rural India.
Poor sanitation conditions continue to remain a critical challenge in India, particularly in the rural areas posing a grave danger to the security and dignity of women. Open defecation is also seen as one of the main reasons for water contamination and other health related problems. Moreover, not only does access to one’s own individual toilet have positive hygiene impact, it also provides positive social connotations.
Monsanto’s commitment comprises of two flagship programs DISHA and SHARE. DISHA covers our efforts in the Health, Nutrition and Education areas and is sharply focused on women and children in rural communities as the intended beneficiaries. Other than providing access to sanitation, DISHA also covers our efforts in the Health, Nutrition and Education areas.
This programme across the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, AP, Karnataka and the Union territory of Silvassa, follows a community participatory approach with the responsibility of ownership & maintenance of the toilet units lying with the individual households. As a part of this initiative Monsanto has a target of building over 2,500 toilets of which 600+ household toilets have been installed. Additionally, Monsanto has also set up 15 sanitation units in government schools.
The selection of beneficiaries is also done very methodically thereby ensuring coverage of the most backward rural communities in line with the Government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It is a collaborative effort where Monsanto works with the community members not only to develop the infrastructure, but also undertakes hygiene sensitization efforts with the community members to drive behaviour change with respect to sanitation practices.
Commenting on this initiative, Arnab Das, Director, CSR and Sustainability, Monsanto India said, “Establishing household sanitation units across rural geographies is a small step in our commitment to towards the communities that we work so closely with. Monsanto is committed to help improve lives of communities it operates in. Through this initiative, we are participating in inculcating better sanitation and hygiene practices as well as in the Prime Minister’s vision of achieving a “Swachh” or clean India”.
Monsanto has always remained committed to making a difference to the lives of farmers and rural communities – people that Monsanto touches through its products, its efforts in the field or through its philanthropic activities.