Nation building is not possible without transforming India’s villages. The vast majority of rural communities depend heavily on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods. The availability of water and the quality of soil therefore dictate their economic health. But with the right resource management and agricultural techniques, along with skilling and training, vulnerable communities can be better placed to tackle the vagaries of nature. Part of HDFC Bank CSR, the Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP) is a flagship programme under this area of intervention that attempts to provide rural communities, with the tools and means to grow and prosper.
Rural Development through HDFC Bank CSR
We visited Chandpura and Chakbihari—two villages in the Vaishali District of Bihar—to witness the impact of HRDP’s various initiatives in areas such as educational infrastructure, healthcare and natural resources management including micro-watershed management, irrigation, soil and water conservation. HRDP seeks to better village life by focusing on improvements in 5 key areas: Education, Skills Training and Livelihood Enhancement, Natural Resources Management, Water and Sanitation and Financial Literacy and Inclusion.
HRDP was recognised by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs at the 1st National CSR Awards 2019. The bank received an Honourable Mention for its contribution to the National Priority Schemes in Agriculture and Rural Development categories. These initiatives are part of HDFC Bank Parivartan, the umbrella for all social initiatives at the bank. “We are humbled by this recognition. It is immensely satisfying to hear stories of Parivartan (change),” Ashima Bhat, Group Head CSR, HDFC Bank told The CSR Journal at the inauguration of a solar-powered water pump for the farmers in Chandpura. “We are creating an ecosystem to improve the overall economic and social conditions in line with the Government’s Adarsh Gaon Abhiyan initiative,” said Nusrat Pathan, CSR Head, HDFC Bank who was also present.
A thorough assessment of each village is carried out to understand its developmental needs. To address these needs in a sustainable and effective manner, the Bank creates long-term solutions in partnership with a nonprofit organization and the local community. The beneficiaries of HDFC Bank CSR include small farmers, youth, landless labourers, children and women.