Ambuja Cement Foundation has partnered with HDFC Bank Parivartan for the second consecutive year to continue work under the Holistic Rural Development Program in Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh. The project aims to improve the socio-economic condition of over 13,000 people from 10 villages in Surguja district, through a variety of initiatives in water harvesting and efficiency, livestock management, women empowerment and infrastructure.
Livelihoods in this district depend on rain-fed agriculture, but unpredictable and erratic rainfall severely affects the profitability of agriculture here. Additionally, groundwater depletion has resulted in inadequate water harvesting structures for communities, leading to decreased income, barren land, poor water quality and increased migration. ACF, in collaboration with HDFC Bank Parivartan, has strategically designed a holistic program to address these issues and meet the needs of the community.
To combat the depletion of groundwater levels in the region, the program last year renovated and constructed water harvesting structures to recharge groundwater for agriculture and water use. potable water. This year, the program aims to build sumps, drinking water pipes and soils and water conservation works.
The holistic rural development program will also support the installation of drip irrigation and encourage the adoption of irrigation for crop diversification, increasing income and planning cash crops in the future. In addition to water efficiency, the program will also encourage crop demonstrations, vegetable garden units, and market gardening practices that are financially beneficial to farmers.
As part of the women’s empowerment program, ACF will form four self-help groups for livelihood generation activities and savings credit practices, also providing a platform for women to address issues at from the village. The program will also promote poultry farming by providing vocational training and financial support for the construction of poultry houses.
The region is home to many landless and marginal farmers who largely depend on agriculture. The introduction of goat farming and cattle management will play an important role in improving the profitability of farmers through training and awareness raising, veterinary care services and assistance in setting up sheep pens.
Due to poor sanitation and infrastructure, especially in educational institutions and anganwadis, the program will also address the basic infrastructure needs of schools – also constructing rainwater harvesting systems to provide a reliable source of water all year round.
Highlighting the extension of the project, Pearl Tiwaridirector and CEO, Ambuja cement foundation “In the first year of the project, we have addressed several key issues such as increasing women’s participation in village-level decision-making, reducing the skills gap among young people and depleting water levels. underground. There is still a lot of work to do and so we are happy to extend our partnership with HDFC Bank Parivartan, in order to continue to extend the positive impacts to more and more rural households.
Elaborating on the need for such a complete project, Nusrat PathanManager – CSR, HDFC Bank said, “Each of the individual projects under the HRDP program addresses critical challenges for the socio-economic development of the population. We are convinced that the association with ACF will bring significant changes in the community and improve their standard of living.
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