Industrial and automotive supplier, Schaeffler India won the CSR Impact Award for Rural Development and infrastructure Project for its flagship Jal Sahara programme. The project is a part the CSR brand, HOPE.
With climate change is emerging as a major challenge for agriculture, food security and rural livelihoods for millions of people across the globe has led to the disruption of rainfall patterns, creating water scarcity. It’s impacting the lives of people who depend on rainfall as the key source of water. This was also the case for 2,168 people living in and around village Tadawale, Block Koregaon in Satara, a rain-dependent, agri-economy area. Inadequate and erratic rainfall was impacting cropping pattern, leading to crop failures in addition to drinking water shortage.
Schaeffler introduced the Jal Sahara programme in the area during May 2019. Over two months detailed study was conducted to understand the household, agriculture, livestock, and livelihoods requirements of the area. Based on the DPR insights, 1,400 hectares of land was treated through watershed development approach to harvest rainwater along with creation of recharge ponds, deepening of nallas, construction of new check dams and de-siltation of existing check dams. Additionally, multiple measures like construction of farm bunds, water- absorbing trenches, treatment of drainage lines and plantation of trees were executed to improve soil and water conservation.
To make the impact sustainable, training programmes were conducted for the local community, and they were also educated on how to diversify the crops, use drip irrigation technology, and grow fodder while saving water. To propel the forward journey, seeds for diversification and fodder farming were also distributed.
Santanu Ghoshal, vice-president, Human Resources & CSR said, “We are elated to receive this award for our continued efforts towards social transformation and empowerment. Jal Sahara project is a multi-year project which has brought 1400 Hectares of land under watershed development benefitting over 2,168 people in Satara District, Maharashtra. We thank our implementation partner – BAIF Development Research Foundation for their contribution and CSRBOX to felicitate this project. As a responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to work towards social transformation and creating a better world for our future generation.”
By end of December 2021, the project had already unlocked 223.37 TCM of rainwater conservation at its 1,400 hectares watershed area. It has also helped increase farmers’ annual income by 45% on an average and 116% for the landless farmers by enabling access to material and information.