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Viacom18 takes the road to prosperity through cleanliness

Kicks off a CSR initiative, Chachak Mumbai, aiming to upgrade infrastructure and embark on a behaviour change communication to clean up Mumbai

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | May 10, 2016

Chakachak Mumbai Viacom18

More than half the country’s population does not have access to toilets, leading to the ignominy of open defecation. India is obviously facing a crisis in terms of sanitation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has enticed many corporate entities to align with the cause, but most of the work is focused on constructing toilets in rural India. Each passing day only deepens the realization that awareness of the need to use toilets was perhaps, as important as constructing toilets, if the dream of a India rid of the menace of open defecation was to be realized.

It was in this spirit that Viacom18 flagged off its corporate social responsibility (CSR) behaviour change communication campaign to tackle the unhygienic sanitation conditions in the slums of Mumbai, at a recently concluded cleanliness and sanitation awareness drive. The company has adopted four slums (Subhash Nagar, Dsouza Chawl, Upadhyay Nagar and Salve Nagar) in the densely populated Andheri suburb of Mumbai.

Viacom18 is a entertainment network born out of a joint venture between Viacom Inc. and the Network18 Group. As part of its ‘Chakachak Mumbai’ initiative, Viacom18 has been working over the last year, to renovate and reconstruct over 200 toilets for the residents of these areas. Underlining the importance of instigating a change in people's mindset at the ground level, Viacom18 has roped in Padma Shri and Ramon Magsaysay award winner, Jockin Arputham and under-privileged women's self-help collective, Mahila Milan, to embark on a concerted behaviour change communication programme.

Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO - Viacom18, flagged off the drive along with Kesarben Patel, Corporator - Salve Nagar, K-East Ward, Andheri East and well-known Marathi film personalities Mahesh Kothare, Urmila Kanetkar Kothare and Sonalee Kulkarni.

“It is my firm belief that just as its people define the organization, the organization has a soul that is the collective of its people. It is with this belief that Viacom18 has been at the forefront of amplifying socially relevant issues, through our movies, TV series, support for social causes and various on ground activities,” said Vats. “When we formalized our CSR journey, we decided to contribute towards realizing the challenging dream of a Swachh Bharat, both through enhancing infrastructure and building awareness,” he added.

“We are India’s favourite storytellers and we decided to leverage that primary strength to build the story of why good sanitary practices are important. Thus our entire behaviour change communication campaign focusses on how cleanliness leads to prosperity,” Vats said.

Kesarben Patel, Corporator - Salve Nagar, K-East Ward, Andheri East, said, “The government is happy to encourage like-minded stakeholders for the benefit of each and every individual in the city and communities at large. These toilets are a step towards providing each and every citizen with access to clean sanitation. Now the onus is on the community to use these toilets judiciously, own them and safeguard them as an asset to the community. Just building these toilets, is not the objective of us or Viacom18, we would want the community to use them. We should eliminate open defecation from the community.”

With the 360-degree approach to infrastructure development and the behaviour change communication programme, ‘Chakachak Mumbai’ aims to bring about a noticeable improvement in the cleanlines quotient of the Maximum City.

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