The major problems for rural communities in the country are scarcity of water and rural migration. Migration to the cities in the hope of eking a better livelihood leaves a large number of villagers without youngsters and able bodied people to work on farms, which remains the major source of livelihood.
In a bid to mitigate the problems faced by villagers and make technology accessible and familiar to them, the Reliance Foundation has since 2010 carried out various philanthropic initiatives. It has reached out to 12 million people in 12,500 villages and 74 urban locations.
Led by Nita M Ambani, the Foundation trains rural communities to adopt sustainable agricultural practices so as to improve the quality and productivity of their meagre assets, leading to increased and more reliable yield. This, in turn, de-risks rain-fed farming, paving the way for food and nutrition, and ensuring increased among the marginalised communities.
Reliance Foundation has been directly engaged in transforming 1.38 lakh acres of land with little or no productivity into fertile and productive lands (Dharti Farms, for instance), through sustainable agricultural practices.
The Foundation has brought back rivers and consequently villagers back to their villages. Here are a few of the programmes undertaken by the Foundation.
Soygaon River Revival (Drought Relief): The Sona River in Soygaon block in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra was revived thus benefitting 14,000 people and irrigating 2,500 acres of farm land in five villages. It also recharges more than 100 wells in the region and provides water for drinking and irrigation.
Urban Renewal: Various initiatives like parks for children and senior citizens have been taken up, besides helping the community with horticultural activities.
Parks and gardens: Collaborating with the Nashik Municipal Corporation, the Foundation has developed the Goda park and Nine Jio Gardens. The Goda park on the banks of the river Godavari has jogging tracks, walkways, a children’s park, a senior citizen’s park. Horticultural activities are also undertaken to help the community.
Across many parts of the country, the Foundation has set up Jio Gardens with landscaped green spaces and play-areas among other amenities for community events.
Technology for sustainable development
Fisherfolk, farmers and livestock owners in the country find it difficult to lay their hands on getting critical information that could enhance their farm produce and be protected against the vagaries of the weather. The Reliance Foundation Information Services (RFIS), helps the relevant target groups by leveraging technology and has reached out to people in 9 Indian states.
Information is disseminated though audio and dial-out conferences, local cable TV, All India Radio, print media, voice and text SMS, Jio Chat, WhatsApp and field based programmes and trainings.
(Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.)
Updated Date: Jun 05, 2017 15:09 PM