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ACC’s concerted efforts in health, water and sanitation won the singular appreciation of the Government of India, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), the country’s largest and oldest apex body, the Indian Sanitation Coalition (ISC) and other expert bodies when the company was conferred with the ISC-FICCI Sanitation Award for the “Best Corporate Initiative in Sanitation” by an eminent jury at a special ceremony in New Delhi on April 27, 2017 in an event that marked the opening of the ISC-FICCI Sanitation Awards & India Sanitation Conclave.
ACC was presented the Award by Mr Suresh Prabhu, Hon'ble Minister of Railways, Government of India in the presence of Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairperson, India Sanitation Coalition and Past President FICCI, Mr Sanjiv Mehta, MD & CEO, Hindustan Unilever India, Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Founder InterGlobal Faith WASH Alliance and Ms Rita Roychoudhury. Senior Director & Head - Environment, Climate Change, Renewable Energy, FICCI. Mr Prabhu singled out ACC as a role model, lauding its company’s commitment and efforts which he said serve to strengthen the Prime Minister’s ambitious Swachh Bharat Abihyan, a five year Clean India Mission, which aims to make India open defecation free (ODF) by 2019.
The award and citation come as a celebration of the company’s impressive achievements under its Sampurna Swachhata (Total Sanitation) programme dedicated to providing access to clean drinking water, sanitation and improved hygiene practices for the communities served by the company around its operations. For water, the intervention is about providing potable water within easy reach and in sufficient quantity; the aim under sanitation is to facilitate the creation of household infrastructure such as toilets, bathrooms and wash areas that render the community open defecation free.
Under this banner, the company has so far constructed over 5000 toilets in rural areas together with mass awareness drives across nine states to educate and sensitize the rural populace including children on the importance of Sanitation and the right to live a dignified life. In the process, seven villages were declared open defection free, with women seen as being the biggest beneficiaries of this intervention.