Demonstrating his commitment as a socially responsible corporate, SKS Ispat Promoter MD Anil Gupta plans to join top industrialists who are on a mission to nullify open defecation in the country. Although the exact facts and figures are yet to be confirmed, Anil Gupta–led SKS Ispat has reportedly announced the vision to create awareness, along with setting up toilets across India over the next three years to help the Swachh Bharat campaign.
Earlier in 2014-2015, an initiative by SKS Ispat Promoter and Power Ltd was pioneered by Anil Gupta to set up toilets at Darramuda in Chhattisgarh. This helped the local community safeguard their deteriorating health conditions which was caused by open defecation. Under his supervision, the company has also conducted CSR activities to improve the failing health and improve the sanitary habits in remote rural areas. Similar initiatives have also been taken by leading steel companies like the Tata Steel to construct community toilets along the Ranchi – Bahragora road under its Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2015, Deepika Jindal of Jindal Stainless Limited led the company to Install Modular Stainless Steel Toilet at Municipal Schools.
Sanitation has always been a big road block in India’s development. Therefore, when the PM Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, one of its prime objectives was to end open defecation in the nation by 2019. The ongoing practice of open defecation in rural areas poses severe health threats to Indian families, especially to those below the poverty line. According to a study which was released by India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) in its Swachhata Status Report, 2016, the usage of toilets is 95.6 per cent in rural India and 98.8 per cent in urban areas. However, the same survey also stated that an estimated 52.1 percent people in rural areas practice open defecation.
According to internal sources in SKS Ispat Promoter , Anil Gupta has strictly emphasized that most sanitation-related CSR activities are hamstrung due to the lack of planning in creating adequate awareness. He, therefore, has directed his CSR team to present an efficient plan at the earliest to create awareness on open defecation, along with construction of toilets in rural areas.