The Narendra Modi government has been facing accusations of being “corporate-friendly,” but it seems to be a one-way street when it comes to the corporates loosening their purse strings to contribute to the Swachh Vidyalaya (Clean School) campaign.
According to the progress report card of the Swachh Vidyalaya, Swachh Bharat (Clean School, Clean India) campaign, prepared by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, only 16 corporates, big and small, have shown some interest in the endeavour. Between them, they have taken up the responsibility of 5,134 toilets, building them or repairing dysfunctional ones.
Some corporate funding could have gone into the Swachh Bharat Kosh, as the guidelines provide the option of indirectly financing the endeavour through the fund.
But the corporate involvement in the campaign is small given that the Kosh is supporting only 5,345 of the 4,19,092 toilets which need to be built or repaired. This, despite Mr. Modi making an appeal in his first Independence Day address last year to corporates to dip into their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds to help the national campaign. The corporates’ involvement is in sharp contrast to the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). In all, 69 PSUs have taken up the responsibility of 1,66,255 toilets across the country.
The completion rate in both cases is way off the mark; given that the Prime Minister had set this year’s Independence Day as the target for ensuring that no school in India is without separate functional toilets for boys and girls.
Of the 5,134 toilets that the corporates have pledged money for, only 242 have been completed. The bulk of the work the corporates have taken upon themselves is building new toilets – 1,820 for boys and 1,920 for girls – of which 136 boys’ toilets and 106 girls’ toilets have been completed.
Likewise, of the entire task at hand, only a quarter has been completed with 1,07,043 of the required 4,19,092 toilets in place and functional two-and-a-half months ahead of the deadline.