TERI University, in partnership with the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd., and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), released today the report State of Urban Water and Sanitation in India, a key milestone of the USAID-funded project "Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings".
The report examines three years (2014-2017) of policies and programs to improve access to clean water and sanitary facilities. It presents policy makers with a snapshot of efforts made since the beginning of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The report highlights best practices from the past three years and gives recommendations to help policy makers achieve SBM goals faster. The projects ought to create lasting education programs designed by experts for students and city officials that would help change policies and community behaviours. The report can be read at: http://www.teriuniversity.ac.in/.
The report on the State of Urban Water and Sanitation in India is calls for more detailed data to help city managers make their cities cleaner. The report asks specifically for information about waste collection, the cost of city services, and how waste is treated in each city. This could help city managers better understand the needs of their cities and reach the goals set out by the national government under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
In his inaugural address, Manoj Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, said: "Today, India is fighting a decisive battle for cleanliness and hygiene through the Swachh Bharat Mission. It is time for each one of us to commit ourselves towards ensuring public hygiene, personal hygiene and environmental hygiene. It is remarkable to note that the government, politicians, celebrities, NGOs, private enterprises are all working together to achieve a common goal."
Following the release of the report, experts from TERI University spoke about their experiences in improving access to water and sanitation. Dr. S. K. Sarkar, Distinguished Fellow from TERI University, agreed saying, "The State of Urban Water and Sanitation in India report encapsulates India's journey towards achieving total sanitation in urban India. The report assesses the lessons learnt from successes and failures in the urban water and sanitation sector."
Addressing the guests, Dr. Leena Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, TERI University, New Delhi, said, "It has been a great experience for TERI University to be associated with USAID and Coca-Cola India in this project. Multiple activities in this project have been synchronized to have a long-lasting impact on the urban water and sanitation sector in India through education, engagement, and human resources development."
Shubha Sekhar, Director, CSR and Sustainability India and South West Asia Coca-Cola said: "Enlightenment, as we know, begins from sanitation, as it provides the fundamental bedrock for human well-being. At Coca-Cola India we are committed towards building a holistic, happy, and healthy society and are proud to be associated with TERI University and further engaging with students, teachers, and communities across 18 States of India on grass-roots-level WASH issues. Our water stewardship approach is aligned to the global goals and seeks to contribute towards sustainable solutions for moving closer to achieving the SDGs."
Mr. Paul Seong, Deputy Director, Office of Social Sector Initiatives, USAID, said: "This new report, the policy briefs, discussion papers, strategy paper, and model curriculum will help current and future policy makers choose the best ways to help their communities become cleaner, faster. We are proud to have been a part of this effort with TERI University and Coca-Cola. This program contributes directly to the U.S. Government's commitment to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to support access to improved sanitation."
Through summer schools, an online seminar series [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ro9ukrRqs0], policy briefs and building a new curriculum for university students, information about how to improve water and sanitation access is now readily available.