Mumbai– According to The International Labor Organization, four out of five employed women in India are engaged in informal economy as daily-wage labourers, street vendors, garment manufacturers and such.
Informal workplaces like factories and construction sites do not provide access to basic clean toilets, thus hampering not just the health and dignity of working women but also productivity for the employers.
On World Toilet Day, Kimberly Clark Professional – with a mission to create healthier, safer and more productive workplaces – fortifies its commitment to furthering hygiene and sanitation in such workplaces, supporting Kimberly-Clark’s global goal of improving the lives of 1 billion people in underserved and vulnerable communities by 2030 with the smallest environmental footprint.
In collaboration with Samhita-CGF, Garv Toilets, and government authorities; the initiative will provide inclusive and sustainable sanitation to 3,000 women daily in busy suburban localities of Mumbai.
Gaurav Dubey, General Manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional South – Asia said, ”We are proud to be a part of the change makers and provide better sanitation conditions. My sense is that while there are still areas for improvement, the progress that has been made and what has been achieved will shift the indicators on sanitation.”
The 28 state-of-the-art toilets installed as part of the initiative, are made of stainless steel with automatic UV light sanitization, automatic flushing and bio-digesters for Faecal Sludge Management (FSM). The toilets are installed around urban informal markets and are also used by women residing in nearby chawls that do not have adequate sanitation infrastructure.
Kavita Phansalkar, 37, is a daily wager who lives in a slum located near one of the toilets. “I had never seen a toilet which cleans itself. Due to auto-clean facility, these toilets are always clean and odourless. It has made a huge difference to our life,” she says.
The urban local body will support operations and maintenance of infrastructure thereby making the intervention sustainable.
In addition to the portable and innovative toilets, Kimberly-Clark Professional’s flagship program also promotes toilet usage by influencing community behaviour towards sanitation, thus providing holistic sanitation solutions to the women working in informal settlements.
Priya Naik, Founder and CEO at Samhita Social Ventures, said, “The pandemic has exacerbated the need for hygiene and sanitation more than ever. We are proud to partner with Kimberly Clark Professional in their mission to enable safe, dignified and sustainable toilets for women at informal workplaces who do not have access to this basic human right. This initiative will facilitate more women to join the workforce and contribute to our economy as well as ensure the comfort and productivity of those already engaged in jobs.”