In April 2021, partnership of Publicis Sapient and S M Sehgal Foundation marks the commencement of its fifth year. In FY 2021–22, the partners are collaborating to support rural communities of Nuh, Haryana, through two distinct projects: Gram Uday 5 and Krishi Samriddhi. Both projects are aligned with the One Table initiative of Publicis Sapient that focuses on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger. Brief summaries of each project follow:
Project Gram Uday 5: Supported by Publicis Sapient and Publicis Groupe, S M Sehgal Foundation implemented project Gram Uday 5 starting on April 1, 2021, in twenty-five villages of Nuh, Haryana. Similar to the earlier phases that began in 2017, the project continues to work with rural communities for a fifth consecutive year. The project generates awareness and builds the capacities of 300 select community leaders to access pivotal government programs and services through structured year-long training sessions called Village Leadership School. Quarterly orientation sessions with 100 women elected representatives of gram panchayats will be organized to motivate them to articulate their development priorities. The project continues to operate the Citizen Information and Support Center, which has a toll-free number, 180030003182, wherein people call to avail information about government programs and services. This tool leverages the widespread use of mobile phones in rural Nuh to establish a convenient and user-friendly communication channel.
Also part of the project is the capacity building of farmers in selected villages through demonstrations and training. The project will promote the adoption of sustainable practices of agriculture and allied interventions for water conservation in agriculture. The project puts special emphasis on women farmers and builds their capacities by conducting Women Farmer Schools that bridge the knowledge gap about sustainable agricultural practices.
Project Krishi Samriddhi: Supported by Publicis Groupe, the main aim of project Krishi Samriddhi is to build capacities of traditional agrarian communities that have low productivity, and encourage them to adopt sustainable practices of agriculture and allied interventions for water conservation in agriculture. The project generates awareness and builds the capacities of villagers and active community members to access government agriculture support programs and services. The project is being implemented across fifteen villages in district Nuh, Haryana.
By adopting demonstration techniques, farmers are trained on better management practices such as soil testing, introducing scientific package of practices, promotion of high-value, salt-tolerant crops such as broccoli, and bed-making machines for vegetable cultivation. Animal nutrition kits are provided to improve animal health and milk production thereby yielding better return to farmers with milch cattle. Demonstrations introduce and train farmers on water conservation practices in agriculture such as laser leveling, community water recharging structures, micro sprinklers, and drip irrigation.
The project puts special emphasis on the capacity building of farmers by conducting field days, exposure visits, specialized training, and convergence meetings with government departments to bridge the knowledge gap about sustainable agricultural practices and further promote better productivity. The project will also form Village Development Committees to generate awareness about the project interventions and build the capacities of community members to access government agriculture support programs.
As with its earlier phases, the fifth-year partnership will continue to positively impact the lives of rural communities through its carefully designed interventions.
(Debika is program lead, Local Participation and Sustainability, at S M Sehgal Foundation)