December 24, 2020

3 CSR Implementation Partnerships that are Enabling Rural India

As a CSR implementation agency to numerous partners, ACF brings both relevant expertise and experience in leading and implementing CSR projects at scale. Here are three partnerships that are today enabling people in rural India.

Project: Rural Development with a focus on Livelihoods


Investor: HDFC Bank

Locations: Sikar (Rajasthan), Haridwar (Uttarakhand)

Duration: 2018-2021

In Sikar (Rajasthan), the community suffered from severe drinking water shortage, along with a myriad of problems involving agriculture, its primary livelihood source. Erratic rainfall, poor quality of water and soil, limited technical knowhow and crippling loans from moneylenders were rendering agriculture unprofitable and unsustainable, impacting every area of life.

Meanwhile, in Haridwar the community suffered from a whole other set of challenges. With limited skills and resources for livelihoods, both women and youth often turned to a life of manual labour with low incomes. Making matters worse, in 60% of the villages surveyed, 70% of the men were affected by alcohol and substance abuse. Infertility in livestock was also a problem. Moreover, being located next to Rajaji National Park, wild animal attacks were leading to loss of livestock.

In 2018, ACF joined hands with banking giant HDFC Bank (along with the Government and community) as a CSR Implementation partner to address the issues in these two communities. Sharing a similar vision to generate sustainable livelihoods in rural India, HDFC Bank Parivartan invested in the project while ACF drove the implementation and monitoring. In Sikar the focus of the partnership is on water resource management, agro-based livelihoods, education and renewable energy by building 'people's institutions' to make the development sustainable. In Haridwar, the projects focus on financial inclusion, skill development and livelihood enhancement, health, sanitation, and education. 

Impacts to date:

·       Demonstration of RRWHS in 45 households

·       82 handpumps repaired and 6 new installed

·       10 village ponds/johads created as water harvesting structures

·       2 SEDIs established at Haridwar and Roorkee

·       13 schools developed and 17 schools provided with teacher learning materials

·       Demonstration of non-conventional energy through 10 biogas, 100 solar home light systems and 100 biomass challahs


Project: Health Care Centres for Truckers

Investor: Apollo Tyres Foundation

Locations: Sankrail & Farraka (West Bengal), Surat (Gujarat), Nalagarh (Himachal Pradesh)

Duration: 2009 - Ongoing

With unusually long working hours, extended periods away from family, and difficult road and driving conditions, the physical and mental health and wellbeing of truckers is a major concern. In particular, the spread of HIV/AIDS is an issue affecting truckers, due to the high prevalence of drivers accessing Commercial Sex Workers, and only 34% of truckers using a condom frequently during casual sex.

Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), as a CSR Implementation partner, decided to help truckers tackle the problem - collaborating with Apollo Tyres Foundation to establish a Health Care Centre, and under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, also sought Government support. The first Health Care Centre was opened in 2009 at the Dhulagarh Truck Terminal on the outskirts of Kolkata which sees approximately 6000 trucks halt every day. The Health Care Centre provides a range of health care services such as the prevention, identification, and treatment of HIV/AIDS along with other sexually transmitted infections. The centre also works on vision care, awareness on tuberculosis and other non-communicable diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure. The programme also has a heavy focus on Behaviour Change Communication, conducting puppet shows and holding information stalls to engage with truckers and teach them betters ways to protect and manage their health.

Seeing the success of the Health Care centre, ACF and Apollo Tyres Foundation have expanded the programme to other key locations, establishing Healthcare Centres in Surat, Farakka and Nalagarh where trucks converge at Truck Terminals. 

Impact to Date:

·       464975 truckers reached

·       43990 truckers tested for HIV

·       81388 truckers counselled

·       259 truckers diagnosed HIV+ referred for treatment

·       872575 condoms distributed via campaign 


Project: Skill Development for Youth and Women

Investor: Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL)

Locations: Dariba & Agoocha (Rajasthan)

Duration: 2018 - Ongoing

Realising the need for skill development in regions surrounding its mines in Rajasthan, Hindustan Zinc Ltd approached Ambuja Cement Foundation for a CSR Implementation strategy.

Subsequently, ACF conducted detailed need assessment studies in Dariba and Agoocha and presented a detailed implementation strategy for the selected CSR activity. Insights were gained on the aspirations of the youth toward skill development and its acceptance in these regions. Furthermore, attitudes within the community towards the establishment of skill development institutes were gauged along with an understanding of the most necessary skill development courses.

In Dariba for instance, most of the youth aspired to be employed as electricians or security guards. Women in the village were observed to be proactive towards skill training and the most desirable trades for them were Bedside Nursing, Tailoring and Beauty.

In Agoocha, on the other hand, women were found to be less responsive to Skill Development courses and interest in acquiring technical traits was also exceptionally low. Youth aspired to be employed as trained Security Guards or in the Electrician trade.

Armed with such specific insights, a skill training centre (SEDI) was established in both Dariba and Agoocha. The new SEDI centres aim to train 2900 youngsters by 2023 in trades such as Security Guard, Microfinance, General Duty Assistant, Electrician, Data Entry Operator and Retail & Sales Representatives. The partnership aims to train at least 30% women in the courses.


·       Number of SEDIs established in collaboration: 2

·       Number of students trained/skilled: 1078

·       Number of courses offered: 7

·       Average income of students placed: Rs. 10,567

To partner with ACF for CSR Implementation, reach out to us at

December 24, 2020

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