Ambuja Cement Foundation and HDFC Bank Parivartan extend Holistic Rural Development Program (HRDP) for another year

October 19, 2022, New Delhi: 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’s empowerment and infrastructure.

Livelihoods in this district depend on rain-fed agriculture, but unpredictable and erratic rainfall severely affects the profitability of farming 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 renovated and constructed water harvesting structures last year to recharge groundwater for agriculture and water use. ‘potable water. This year, the program aims to build cesspools, drinking water pipes and soil and water conservation works.

The program will also support the installation of drip irrigation and encourage the adoption of lift irrigation for crop diversification, increased 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 empowerment program, ACF will form 4 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 livestock management will play an important role in improving the profitability of farmers through the provision of training and awareness, veterinary care services and implementation support. of sheepfolds.

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.

Speaking on the expansion of the project, Pearl Tiwari, Director and CEO of Ambuja Cement Foundation, said, “During the first year of the project, we have addressed several key issues such as increasing the participation of women in decision-making at the village level, reducing the skills gap among youth and addressing groundwater depletion. 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 comprehensive project, Nusrat Pathan, Head of CSR, HDFC Bank Ltd, said, “Each of the individual projects under the HRDP program addresses critical challenges for the socio-economic development of the people. . 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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