In these challenging times, Dainik Jagran stands as a steadfast beacon of hope and positivity. Starting in 1942, our journey has been defined by a commitment not only to report and inform but also to inspire transformative change. Today, as the world’s largest circulating Hindi newspaper, it is a privilege to be at the forefront of social movements aligned with India’s life-altering Swachh Bharat Mission and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
From health and nutrition to livelihood and sanitation, we are deeply engaged in multiple initiatives reshaping our nation’s socio-economic landscape and meaningfully impacting the lives of its most vulnerable citizens. Working in tandem with like-minded organisations, such as Reckitt, a reputed hygiene, health and nutrition multinational, we are making far-reaching contributions to India’s gamechanging sanitation initiative.
At Jagran, we support a comprehensive approach to address India’s formidable sanitation challenges. Our efforts span from improving the lives of the approximately five million sanitation workers, fostering a cultural shift through sustained awareness campaigns and awareness creation, and inspiring people to embrace hygienic practices, including using toilets and washing hands. This commitment is encapsulated in our collective pledge called Saat Sarokar, or seven pillars required for building a robust sanitation infrastructure: a well-educated society, a healthy community, women’s empowerment, environmental protection, water conservation, poverty alleviation and population planning.
At the heart of Jagran’s mission is an unwavering commitment to support the Swachh Bharat Mission and SDGs. Beyond physical infrastructure solutions, our approach revolves around driving behavioural change through effective communication. We realise that constructing millions of toilets will not be sufficient if we fail to educate individuals on moving from open defecation to these facilities. We focus on impactful communication strategies to trigger behaviour change and promote utilisation of sanitation facilities.
For any sanitation plan to succeed, it must prioritise the well-being of its often-unsung heroes—the sanitation workers. These dedicated individuals deserve not only a better quality of life but also recognition. To this end, Jagran has adopted a comprehensive approach to ensure these workers’ safety, dignity and overall welfare.
It is this thought that led to our landmark partnership with Reckitt at the Kumbh Mela, where sanitation facilities and hygiene education are extended to countless pilgrims as part of Reckitt’s Har Ghar Swachh, Har Ghar Swasth initiative. With our extensive reach, Dainik Jagran offers vital media support to this extraordinary endeavour. This partnership has also ensured that the Harpic World Toilet College is not merely a link in the sanitation value chain but translates into a commitment to empower and accord dignity to sanitation workers.
Through a series of helpful nudges, the HWTC training aims to transform the lives of the workers, helping them understand the value of their safety and why safe practices are paramount. This not only benefits them but also contributes to the overall hygiene of the community.
The Jagran Pehel-Reckitt partnership has transformed countless sanitation workers’ lives and demonstrated how collaboration, community engagement, behavioural change and dignified work can reshape the sanitation landscape. It is a beacon of hope, a symbol of progress and a testament to the immense potential within partnerships dedicated to a cleaner, safer and more dignified world.
Dainik Jagran goes beyond advocating safe sanitation with sanitation workers. We provide platforms for aspiring journalists and engage future generations through internships and youth-focused sections. In a tribute to journalism’s broader purpose, we seek to mainstream a historically shunned subject and emphasise comprehensive sanitation in alignment with the Swachh Bharat Mission philosophy. Our efforts empower young people and journalists to contribute to societal development with youth-focused content, engaging them in discussions on education, healthcare, gender equality and economic empowerment. We recognise that youth are not just the future; they are the present and their active involvement is crucial for driving positive change.
Furthermore, the newspaper showcases success stories from across India, highlighting the country’s progress towards improved sanitation and advocating comprehensive sanitation to ensure a sustainable future. We have taken several initiatives demonstrating our deep-rooted involvement in sanitation, including promoting open defecation-free regions in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
We have spearheaded influential movements like Swachh Bharat Nirman. Our internationally acclaimed “No Toilet No Bride” campaign, honoured at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival, stands as a testament to the transformative power of media in driving societal change. On another front, we partnered with Bollywood to promote the critically acclaimed film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.
As we look ahead to the future, we must remember that progress is not measured solely by the number of toilets built but by the transformation of lives, the empowerment of communities and the preservation of every sanitation worker’s dignity. With our unwavering commitment to holistic sanitation and social development, the Jagran Group continues to lead as a thought leader, inspiring our stakeholders to actively participate in building a cleaner, healthier and more dignified society. Our dedication to improving sanitation in India is a story of perseverance, creativity and impact. And the impact is across India and the perception globally.
Mahendra Mohan Gupta is ex-CMD & Editorial Director, Jagran Prakashan, and ex-MP, Rajya Sabha.