With the successful implementation of its Holistic Rural Development Program (HRDP) in rural Uttarakand, HDFC Bank Parivartan has extended its partnership with Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) to Patiala district in Punjab. The 4-year project will cover 15 villages in Rajpura and Sambhu blocks of Patiala district, with targeted interventions on agriculture-based livelihoods, women empowerment, health and sanitation and quality education .
HRDP is a flagship CSR initiative of #Parivartan, HDFC Bank’s umbrella brand for all its social development programs. It seeks to improve village life by focusing on improvements in the following key areas:
1) Education
2) Vocational training and improved livelihoods
3) Natural resource management
4) Water and sanitation
5) Financial Literacy and Inclusion.
Under this unique program, a thorough assessment of the village is carried out to understand its development needs. To meet these needs in a sustainable and effective way, the Bank creates long-term solutions in partnership with an NGO and the local community. HRDP beneficiaries include small farmers, youth, landless workers, children and women.
In the Patiala district of Punjab, the level of distress is high among the rural communities and villages selected for the implementation of the HRDP project. People here largely depend on agriculture for their livelihoods with a major problem being high input costs, low crop yields and depletion of natural resources. In addition, soil, water and biodiversity degradation are other big challenges for the sustainable development of agriculture here.
ACF, together with HDFC Bank Parivartan, will initiate the first phase by raising awareness of water use efficiency, which includes micro-irrigation, proper mulching practices and farming techniques to protect crops from frost, pests and insects; as well as the cultivation of exotic vegetables. A farmers’ club will also be formed for the collective purchase of inputs and to facilitate the collective marketing of vegetables and crops.
“Through HRDP, we are creating an ecosystem to improve the overall economic and social conditions in rural India. Our partners play a key role in the planning and execution of projects. We are happy to see the positive impact of our work in Uttarakhand and thank all the participants who participated in the project to make the initiative a success. We look forward to impacting so many lives in Punjab,” said Ms. Nusrat Pathan, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, HDFC Bank.
Speaking about the ongoing partnership and the expansion of the project to another state, Pearl Tiwari, Director and CEO, Ambuja Cement Foundation, said: “We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with HDFC Bank. We are natural partners when it comes to holistic rural community development, as HDFC Bank Parivartan’s philosophy of “Progress begins when we empower communities” aligns very well with ACF’s vision of ” Building sustainable and thriving communities through partnerships”. Together, we are committed to enabling communities in distress to move from poverty to prosperity, and we look forward to enabling this journey and this transformation for the people of Patiala as well.
As part of the women’s empowerment program, ACF will encourage women to participate in income-generating activities. Small production units will be established, where women will be skilled in embroidery, phulkari, knitting and sewing, while helping them to market their handicrafts and other products. A group of craftswomen will be created and linked to a bank to help these rural women save their money and obtain financial support, if they need it.
Additionally, ACF will also lead a health and sanitation program to promote behavior change in the community, raising awareness of non-communicable diseases. Awareness and sensitization programs will also be organized on solid waste management, waste sorting and the creation of manure compost with biodegradable waste. ACF will also focus on the development of school infrastructure to ensure quality education for all. Smart classrooms will be developed as well as separate areas for lunch and drinking water, with modern facilities. To ensure cleanliness and hygiene, separate toilets for girls and boys will be constructed. In Anaganwadis, the focus will be on improving hygiene conditions, seating arrangements, teaching materials, setting up toilet blocks and drinking water stations.
Over the past four years, under the HRDP, ACF has successfully facilitated the transformation of 20 villages in Haridwar and Roorkee districts, with both social and economic development. As an implementing partner of HDFC Bank Parivartan, ACF looks forward to doing the same in selected villages in Patiala.
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