On the day the government approved the Swachh Bharat Program, which aims to eliminate open defecation and provide basic sanitation facilities across India, a significant step in the same direction was taken by NDTV and Dettol, with the launch of Banega Swachh India. (In Pics: Banega Swachh India Launch Event)
The facts are striking in our country:
- At least thirty children under the age of five die every hour of diarrhoea
- Over 110 million households do not have access to basic sanitation and defecate in the open
- Only 53 per cent Indians wash their hands after defecation
These facts are not something to be proud of for a nation striving towards a superpower status. (In Pics: Lack of Sanitation - India's Stark Reality)
Sanitation brings the single greatest return on investment for any development intervention - for every $1 spent on sanitation at least $9 is saved in health, education and economic development.
"Our commitment to the program and collaboration with like-minded partners is just the beginning of our journey towards a healthier and cleaner India by 2019," said Nitish Kapoor, Managing Director, RB India. RB has made a commitment to invest a sum of Rs 100 crore towards creating hygiene and sanitation facilities over the next five years.
Amitabh Bachchan, who believes that access to hygienic living conditions and sanitation facilities should be the bare minimum that every individual in the country should have access to, is championing this cause as the campaign ambassador of Banega Swachh India. This campaign aims to provide expertise and insight in driving behavioural change, spread awareness on the importance of hygiene and sanitation to millions across the country, support the building of toilets, and contribute towards keeping these toilets clean and hygienic.