For children at two government-run primary schools in India’s southern city of Bengaluru (Bangalore), this problem was compounded as they also lacked access to toilets at their schools, despite government directives. But thanks to India’s large-scale sanitation drive, at all levels of government and business, sanitation conditions for schoolchildren from disadvantaged backgrounds are beginning to improve.
So who is helping these children access the basic sanitation infrastructure they need?
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) – a global humanitarian aid group – is amongst the many organisations working to provide Indians, especially children like these in Bengaluru, the health and hygiene access they need.
However, they aren’t doing it alone.
ExxonMobil is supporting HFH to help their ongoing contribution to transform the nation for the better.
ExxonMobil funded the sanitation infrastructure for these two schools in Bengaluru. Following the funding, HFH and the school were able to build two toilets and sanitation units for the children.
For its commitment to supporting sanitation, particularly in the south of India, Habitat for Humanity has honoured ExxonMobil with the “India Builder 2019” award.
Naveen Shukla, CEO, ExxonMobil Services and Technology Private Limited, Bengaluru, said the company was proud to be recognised for its efforts.
“If there’s one award that truly matters, it is this,” he said. “We want to be an active partner in building a better India, where the youth have access to the essential health and hygiene infrastructure. It is all about improving their lives and empowering them to realise their full potential.”
The award comes as India commits to $US20 billion ‘Clean India’ (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan) programme in a determined bid to improve sanitation, especially in rural areas. Close to 90 million toilets have been built over the past five years, significantly increasing access to sanitation infrastructure for millions of Indians.
This year, ExxonMobil is funding HFH to distribute emergency shelters and humanitarian aid kits for boosting disaster preparedness in the flood-prone areas of Karnataka.
“Our goal is to enable flood-affected people to get back on their feet as early as possible and minimise their losses,” Mr Shukla said.