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CSR & You: Connecting Children of Uttarakhand with Nature


Project ECHO, Uttarakhand

Project by: Leafbird Foundation

CATEGORY: Eligible CSR Activity Under the Companies Act 2013 Schedule VII

(ii) …promoting education, including special education and employment enhancing vocation skills especially among children… and livelihood enhancement projects…

(iv) …ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna,… conservation of natural resources…

(vii) …training to promote rural sports, nationally recognized sports…



Leafbird Foundation works towards building the economy of remote villages in Uttarakhand, India by building livelihood opportunities and encouraging the hill folk to preserve the environment and rebuild their bond with it. The organizations believes in working towards community empowerment as their paramount objective rather than development goals. Problems of out-migration, lack of self reliance and enterprise as well as administrative apathy are focused on so that larger environmental issues are then resolved by the locals themselves. The organization has set up a network of volunteers and workers in the state.

Number of years in operation: Leafbird Foundation was founded in the wake of the Uttarakhand disaster in 2013.  Since its conception, Leafbird has undertaken many projects, not just to rehabilitate the locals post the disaster but also to build and sustain educational, social & livelihood models for the locals.

The Unique Concept – Project ECHO:

Project ECHO (Education For Conservation And Healing Outcomes) is a unique education program which has been initiated in schools in the remote areas of Uttarakhand. It aims at building awareness about the immediate environment.  Reconnecting children to their surroundings will make them view their surroundings as nurturers and stall the problem of out-migration in the long run. The older students will get help in carrying forward the ideas that they develop in these workshops into practical livelihood building with counseling sessions (in the coming years), making them aware of the schemes and subsidies that exist for their benefit, guiding them in their desired choice of profession and integrating them into the work that the organization is already doing in certain areas.

The program is designed as an 8 week intervention over a period of one year for standard 6, 7 & 8 and will be modified as they teach in different areas. The classes will be designed like a series of workshops.The syllabus will cover topics such as:

  • Environmental Studies – Building a familiarity with the birds, insects, trees and herbs of the particular area.
  • History – Knowledge of history and culture are important tools in instilling a sense of pride and belonging. Learning about the history of Uttarakhand with links made of the local history to the national and world history will be covered in their syllabus.  They will create a book about the history of their own village too.
  • Crafts – Learning about the traditional crafts that are practiced in their particular region.
  • Culture – Theater workshops, folk songs, folk dances, to revive and keep alive a sense of tradition.
  • Geography – This module will make them familiar with the traditional crops in their regions, the rivers that flow around them and the general topography of the region.
  • Science
  • Disaster Management , First Aid & RTA
  • Functional English

One phase of the project has already been implemented successfully in Sarni High School, Wacham village which is the last village in the Pindari and Sundardhunga glacier trekking routes.


Leafbird Foundation is seeking funds of Rs 15 Lacs to continue the project in this school as well as other schools in this valley, to be allocated as under:

Module development 1.5 Lacs

Salaries 3 Lacs

Teacher Training 1.5 Lacs

Stationary for modules 1 Lac

Travel 1 Lac

Boarding & lodging 3.5 lakhs

Equipment (projector & laptops) 1.5 Lac

Communication & Admin expenses 1.5 Lac

WHY FUND PROJECT ECHO: Relevant education is the key to the well being of rural areas. Leafbird Foundation hopes to be able to eventually influence the Education Department to make such material an essential part of the syllabus.

Some of Leafbird’s other initiatives include:

  • Project HEAL – (Herbs for Empowerment & Livelihood) which aims at creating livelihoods through cultivation of Herbs. The project is being supported by Godrej & Boyce Mfg.Co.Ltd. & CII Foundation.
  • Project “GREEN I” – is a program aimed at afforestation of wastelands. In August 2013, 30,000 Ringal (hill bamboo) saplings were planted in Garhwal and Kumaon. In July 2014, timber trees were planted in Tarshali village, Bageshwar district. This project will be carried out throughout Uttarakhand. As a corollary to the Green I program, Leafbird also provides fruit trees to every participating village home.
  • Project RINGAL – Livelihood generation through revival of bamboo weaving & other traditional Professions and Crafts. Projects in the pipeline are – establish apiaries, cottage industries for wool weaving, incense sticks and soap making, as well as training programs in traditional crafts.

Want to Fund this Project?

Funding to the Leafbird Foundation is eligible for tax deduction/ Eligible CSR Activity Under the Companies Act 2013. Write to us at editor@thecsrjournal.in and we will assist you with the process.