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HDFC Bank Parivartan Collaborates with Ambuja Cement Foundation to Begin Holistic Rural Development Program

The rural communities and villages chosen for the HRDP project implementation in Punjab's Patiala district are very distress. Since the majority of the local population depends on agriculture for a living, high input costs, poor crop yields, and the degradation of natural resources are key issues.

Shivam Dwivedi
Punjab's Patiala district chosen for the HRDP project implementation
Punjab's Patiala district chosen for the HRDP project implementation

After the Holistic Rural Development Program (HRDP) in rural Uttarakhand was put into practice successfully, HDFC Bank Parivartan expanded its collaboration with Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) to the Patiala area of Punjab. The initiative, which will last four years, will focus on agro-based livelihood, women's empowerment, health & sanitation, and high-quality education in 15 villages in the Patiala district's Rajpura and Sambhu blocks.

HRDP is a flagship CSR initiative of Parivartan, HDFC Bank’s umbrella brand for all its social development programmes. It seeks to better village life by focussing on improvements in key areas of:

  • Education

  • Skills Training & Livelihood Enhancement

  • Natural Resources Management

  • Water & Sanitation

  • Financial Literacy & Inclusion

A comprehensive assessment of the town is conducted as part of this special programme to determine its redevelopment requirements. In collaboration with an NGO and the neighbourhood, the Bank develops long-term solutions to meet these requirements in a sustainable and efficient manner. The HRDP benefits young people, landless labourers, women, children, and small farmers.

The rural communities and villages chosen for the HRDP project implementation in Punjab's Patiala district are in a lot of distress. Since the majority of the local population depends on agriculture for a living, high input costs, poor crop yields, and the degradation of natural resources are key issues. Degradation of the soil, water, and biodiversity are additional significant obstacles to the sustainable development of agriculture in this region.

ACF, along with HDFC Bank Parivartan, will kick-start the first phase with creating awareness around water-use efficiency, which includes micro-irrigation, appropriate mulching practices, and farming techniques to protect crops from frost, pests and insects; along with growing exotic vegetables. A farmer’s club will also be formed for collective input procurement 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 an instrumental role in planning and executing 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 as many lives in Punjab,” said Nusrat Pathan, Head -of Corporate Social Responsibility, HDFC Bank.

Talking about the ongoing partnership and expansion of the project to another state, Pearl Tiwari, Director & 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 the holistic development of rural communities, as HDFC Bank Parivartan’s philosophy of ‘Progress Begins When We Empower Communities’ very much aligns with ACF's vision of ‘Building Sustainable, Prosperous Communities via Partnerships.’ Together we are committed to enabling distressed communities to go from poverty to prosperity, and we look forward to enabling that journey and transformation for the people of Patiala too.”

Under the Women 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 stitching, whilst also helping them to market their handicraft goods and other items. A Woman Artisan Group will be created and linked with a bank to assist these rural women to save their money and get financial support if they need it.

Additionally, ACF will also run a health and sanitation programme to promote behavior change in the community, by creating awareness on Non-Communicable Diseases. Awareness and sensitization programmes will also be organized on solid waste management, segregation of waste, and creating compost manure with biodegradable waste.

ACF will also focus on the development of school infrastructure to ensure quality education for all. Smart classrooms will be developed along with separate areas for mid-day meals and drinking water, with modern facilities. In order to ensure cleanliness and hygiene, separate toilets for girls and boys will be constructed. In Anaganwadis, the focus will be on improving hygienic conditions, seating arrangements, learning materials, the establishment of Toilet blocks and drinking water stations.

ACF has successfully facilitated the transformation of 20 villages in the Haridwar and Roorkee districts over the last four years through HRDP, with both social and economic development. ACF looks forward to doing the same in Patiala's select villages as an implementing partner for HDFC Bank Parivartan.

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