Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) was felicitated with the Development Catalyst Award for 2022 at the Livelihoods India Summit organised by Access Dev for its social development efforts towards diligent work in empowering economically marginalized communities.
ACF has been empowering the social and economic growth of communities near the Ambuja Cement manufacturing facilities in order to assist disenfranchised groups. It has facilitated in organising farmers’ clubs, self-help groups, women’s federations, water-user groups, and village development committees for approximately eleven states. Through its livelihoods initiatives, ACF focuses on creating agro-based livelihoods, agri-allied services and skill and entrepreneurship development for rural youth. Through these initiatives, it facilitates farmers into forming groups to collectively market their produce and earn better profits. It offers women to engage in agri-allied services like goatery or poultry. And, it provides rural youth to get skilled and lead a better life through its skill & entrepreneurship development institutes.
The initiative specially focuses on women practicing goatery, poultry, cattle milk production and group based activities through Self-Help Groups and Federations, giving them a livelihood opportunity and helping them earn an additional income to contribute to the family. During the nationwide lockdown, when many rural businesses were affected, a livelihood revolving fund was set up through local Self-Help Groups for those women-run small enterprises who were majorly affected due to COVID-19. This fund provided loans to local businesswomen to sustain their businesses.
Along with other partners, such revolving funds were also set up for farming families providing them financial assistance to procure agriculture inputs for which receivers returned the money for further rotation the next season. Furthermore, ACF is also working on other initiatives in the region such as community health and sanitation, promotion of rural infrastructure, good quality education and women empowerment to improve the social as well as the economic status of the communities.