Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan, in collaboration with the PwC India Foundation (PwCIF) initiated a humanitarian response project in 10 villages of Hamirpur’s Sarila block, located in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. Within a year of implementation, the project has achieved drought resilience and impacted 2,025 families across these villages.
The project was implemented from June 2016 to July 2017 with the mandate to create awareness on sustainable and improved agricultural practices among community members in the project villages through regular meetings, trainings, capacity building sessions and demonstrations by the Parmarth team. The report titled Reducing Hunger and Vulnerabilities in Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh’ details the challenges faced by the community, the interventions designed to tackle these issues and the quantifiable results that have been achieved on ground one year post the completion of the project.
Speaking at the launch of the report PwC India Foundation Vice Chairman, Jaivir Singh said, "We at the foundation focus on regions that have limited support from the private sector to address development related challenges by making sure locally relevant solutions are applied through interventions based on the context of communities in the region. This report captures the success and challenges of the commendable work done by our partner organisation and the community that has been dealing with drought conditions, which in turn affects many other elements related to their livelihoods."
Today, 90% of the members and leaders of the Pani Panchayats or water management groups created under the project have become aware about drought-resilient and sustainable agricultural practices. In addition, the project has supported construction of eight water harvesting structures which have helped save approximately 4,950 cubic metre of water to be utilised for irrigation and recharging of the groundwater.
The founder of Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan Sanjay Singh said, "For communities to be empowered, unity and awareness need to be at the forefront of ground action. For three years, communities from Hamirpur district have been battling worsening drought like situations. Together with PwCIF, we began tackling vulnerabilities faced by them, by first building capacities of the community members, planning area-specific interventions and finally executing these on the ground. By making the beneficiaries drought resilient through improved agricultural practices, they are slowly beginning to restore and sustainably manage their own landscape to meet their daily needs."
The 10 villages were selected due to their remoteness, socio-economic background, lack of irrigation facilities, higher level of soil erosion and continuous drought for three years. With ground water exploitation surpassing 70%, these villages were declared semi-critical. The need of the hour was to mitigate the crisis by reducing hunger and vulnerabilities through water harvesting and management.
Observing the positive impact created by the project at the ground level, PwCIF has decided to initiate another intervention in the same block to address the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of village Dharaupur. In addition to infrastructure support towards construction, repair and refurbishment of toilet facilities, the project aims to make available supply of clean drinking water through installation of matka filters in every village household.
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About PwC India Foundation (PwCIF)
The PwC India Foundation was established in 2008 with the objective of making an impact in the areas of education and environment sustainability.They have now expanded their areas of intervention to sanitation, social entrepreneurship and humanitarian response to natural disasters.