November 07, 2019

Banking on Rural Development

Investor: HDFC Bank
Project: Holistic Rural Development with a focus on livelihoods
Location: Sikar (Rajasthan), Haridwar (Uttarakhand)
Duration: 2018 - 2021

In rural India, communities are often impacted by multiple and inter-related problems. In fact, no two communities are the same, with each one having challenges based on the unique dynamics and nature of the community. In Sikar (Rajasthan), people suffer severe drinking water shortage, along with myriad problems surrounding their main source of livelihood-agriculture. Erratic rainfall, poor quality of water and soil, limited technical know-how adn crippling credit from moneylenders was rendering agriculture unprofitable and unsustainable - impacting every area of life.

Meanwhile, in Roorkee the community suffers from a variety of completely different challenges. With limited skills and resources for livelihoods, both women and youth are faced with a life of manual labour and low incomes. Making matters worse, in 60% of villages, 70% of men are addicted to alcohol, cannabis or medical drugs. Infertility in livestock was a problem and being located next to Rajaji National Park, farmers were bearing heavy losses due to wild animal attacks.

ACF's strength lies in bringing together a consortium of stakeholders to tackle problems, and in 2018, they joined hands with banking giant HDFC Bank (along with the Government and community) to address the issues in these two communities. HDFC Bank invests in Holistic Rural Development Projects and shares a similar vision and philosophy to ACF - for generating sustainable livelihoods in rural India.

Driving implementation and monitoring, ACF kick-started the first year of the project in January 2018. In Sikar, the focus of the partnership was on water resource management, agro-based livelihoods, education and renewable energy-building 'people's institutions' along the way to support the sustainability of the project going forward. In Roorkee, projects focused on financial inclusion, skill development and livelihood enhancement, health, sanitation and education.

And in a little over 12 months, change is seeping in and the future bodes well for these communities.


  • Demonstration of RRWHS in 45 households
  • 82 Hand Pumps repaired and 6 new installed
  • 10 Village Ponds/Johad created as Water Harvesting Structures
  • 2 SEDI's Established at Haridwar and Roorkee
  • 13 Schools developed and 17 Schools provided with Teaching Learning Materials
  • Demonstration of Non-Conventional Energy through 10 Biogas, 100 Solar Homes Light Systems and 100 Biomass Stoves
  • 93 Village Level Institutions established (65 SHGS and 28 Farmer Groups)

November 07, 2019

0 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your feedback is valuable for us. Your email will not be published.

An Opportunity to Support
An Opportunity to Support
Stay updated on the latest insights from Ambuja Cement Foundation.