TCS and the Bharti Foundation have pledged Rs 100 crore each in response to the call given by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15th August for providing separate toilets for girls in each school in the country by the next Independence Day. Many other corporate houses are likely to join it soon as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Adequate funds were already available under such schemes as the Sarv Shiksha Abhyan and the Right to Education. The stumbling blocks in the execution of these schemes have been lack of political will, corruption, red-tapism and politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus.
Pumping in more funds by the corporate houses is only going to fill the coffers of those involved in approvals and execution of this onerous task. I would suggest that the corporate houses adopt clusters of schools and construct toilets in these clusters under their direct supervision without making donations to the government. The administrative role should be restricted to the identification of clusters and assigning them to different corporate houses. This way, the work will be executed faster and efficiently. Even if it were to cost the corporates Rs 10 crore as administrative/overhead charges for every Rs 100 crore spent, Rs 90 crore will be spent on infrastructure. It may well be a mere Rs 50 crore if the same work was to be got executed through government agencies.

Col (Retd) B. S Bhullar