New Delhi: Grameen Koota, a Bengaluru based microfinance organization, has been felicitated at ISC-FICCI 2017 awards for its efforts in providing access to affordable credit to its clients to build toilets. Grameen Koota Director Mr. Sumit Kumar received the award from the Union Minister for Railways, Mr. Suresh P. Prabhu at a ceremony during the India Sanitation Conclave 2017 held in New Delhi.
Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairperson of India Sanitation Coalition, Mr. Sanjeev Mehta, CEO & MD of Hindustan Unilever and Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Founder of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance were also present at the ceremony. In its award citation, the India Sanitation Coalition (ISC) said- “Grameen Koota has been recognized for increasing financial accessibility in rural Karnataka and Maharashtra through their three-pronged approach – Creating awareness among people in their operational areas, Imparting training on various aspects of Sanitation and providing access to affordable credit for toilet construction to needy Grameen Koota customers.”
Mr. Udaya Kumar, Managing Director and CEO of Grameen Koota said, “It is indeed a great honour and even greater encouragement to receive this Award for Best Financial Accessibility for Sanitation from ISC-FICCI. The award makes us and our program partners proud to be associated with our work and we reiterate our commitment to carry forward our mission against open defecation.”
Mrs. Vinatha M. Reddy, Chairperson of Grameen Koota said, “We are privileged to have been conferred with the great honour for our efforts towards achieving total sanitation and our alignment with Swachh Bharath Abhiyaan of Govt of India. We have also taken a pledge to make all our customers free from open-defecation by October 2, 2019, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.”
Congratulating Grameen Koota on the award and commending their work Ms. Ratna Vishwanathan, CEO, Microfinance Institutions Network said,” We would like to extend our best wishes to Grameen Koota for this achievement. It is heartening to know about the contributions of the company and the impact that it had created on the lives of its clients. Microfinance finance institutions not only play a big role in providing easy access to finance to low income households but also help in improving their economic and social status thereby contributing in uplifting their standard of living.”
With about half of the country still defecating in the open, the nation has a mammoth task ahead to make the nation Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019. The Sanitation Awards, initiated this year by India Sanitation Coalition (ISC), aim at identifying and recognising the efforts of stakeholders in this drive, including implementation partners, corporates, financial institutions and entrepreneurs, among others.