Working with communities in rural India has multiple approaches. It gives major learning to both, organizations and communities while implementing sustainable work on the ground.
Currently, our large percentage of the rural population is struggling for basics like water, good health and sanitation, their family incomes and chances of getting new livelihood opportunities are meagre.
Sustainability in rural India
Some organizations in the industry who are experts in generating the best outfit with the least use of resources and are supporting rural communities to follow sustainable farming, manufacturing process in daily life to generate income. Here are four such running impactful CSR projects.
1. Heifer International
Cargill and international development organization Heifer International together have been positively impacting local communities in India through the Hatching Hope Global Initiative. Launched in November 2018, the project aims to improve nutrition and income levels through backyard poultry farming and increased consumption of poultry products in Mayurbhanj, Odisha.
Aligned to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Zero Hunger, Hatching Hope has so far impacted over 30,000 farmer households through improved backyard poultry production, resulting in better flock health and bird size and improving income and nutrition across 1.5 million people in the district over two years. The programme has already trained over 1,600 Self Help Groups (SHG) to strengthen women-led institutions and facilitated the building of new SHGs that can provide their members access to information, services and support needed to start their businesses.
2. Danone India
Danone’s efforts towards a positive change stem from a philosophy that the health of the planet and the health of the people living inside of it are intrinsically linked. This forms the crux of its larger initiative called One Planet One Health (OPOH).
Driven by the overarching philosophy of water conservation, Danone India has not only reduced water consumption by 50% at its production site over the last 5 years but has also installed rainwater harvesting systems in its factory. These steps ensure both preservation and optimum utilization of the valuable natural resource. One such example is the factory in Lalru, Punjab.
3. Institute for Sustainable Communities
Since 1991, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has led more than 115 transformative community-driven sustainability projects in 30 countries including the United States, China, India, and Bangladesh. The Institute for Sustainable Communities is working to promote water stewardship amongst cotton growing farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh as part of the USAID-Gap Inc supported Women + Water Alliance.
Engaging over 3000 farmers across the region, ISC and implementation partners are reducing the environmental footprint of cotton cultivation, enhancing the sustainability of water resources and empowering women to enhance their role in sustainable farming.
A leading chemical manufacturing company partnered with Fiinovation to initiate their CSR Programme under the ‘Income Generation Program through Sustainable Agriculture’ among farmers in Rayagada district of Odisha. This CSR intervention was designed to provide training on cost-effective and sustainable agricultural practices, utilising an optimum amount of water, energy and labour resources.
The project provided skilling of over 1,300 farmers by providing them with hands-on training on the functioning of seed drillers, sowing methods, insect and pest management, judicious use of farm inputs and other extended services for a period of two years. Fiinovation was also responsible for conducting independent monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment of the project to ensure the success of the proposed CSR programme. After the successful completion of the first phase of the project, it was extended for two more years with the focus on sustainability of the initiative.