INOX Air Products - Bokaro District, Jharkhand
“Udaan -The Wings of Transformation”
INOX Air Products is one of the largest manufacturers of industrial gases in India with 36 plants spread across the country. INOXAP partnered with the Mrida Heart ‘n Soil Foundation to facilitate the sustainable and holistic development of selected villages and hamlets in Bokaro District of Jharkhand, under the project “Udaan, the Wings of Transformation.”
As part of the initiative to make financial services accessible to the two villages, an E-Hub was established in both villages.The provision of the E-Hub follows the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), one of the biggest financial inclusion initiatives in the world. Through training, two individuals run an E-Hub respectively, which provides services that range from cash withdrawal, deposit, mobile phone recharge, bill payments, PAN (Permanent Account Number) card enrolling services, photocopying & printing services.
Village Development Committee:
The VDC’s in both villages hold monthly meetings to discuss activities/interventions to be carried out at the village level and to collect fees for those availing the infrastructure provided. The team set up sub-committees to create a water-tight system for monthly collections from the villagers for their access to the purified water & solar energy.
The existing solar LED street light network has been strengthened by repairing existing lights and installing new ones as per requirement so that the safety and security of those in these areas can be reinforced. A 100% coverage has already been achieved in both villages through the installation of 40 new solar LED streetlights and the repair of 8 government solar street lights.
Clean Drinking Water:
Since the safety and health of the villagers is one of the main concerns, the availability of clean drinking water to the households becomes very important. As a result, solar powered water pumping and purification systems were installed in both villages, as well as the local school. The provision of clean drinking water runs on a community-based model where every beneficiary household pays a monthly fee to a Water Management Committee (a subsidiary of the VDC). The money thus collected is utilized for the upkeep of the system over time and makes the intervention self-sustainable.
Post the provision of clean drinking water, the incidence of bloating, acidity & water borne diseases has reduced drastically.
The farmer groups in Bajudih & Jharnamuri were mobilized, and training programmes were introduced for seed treatment & pest control. In Jharnamuri, a 3HP solar irrigation pump was set up where farmers pay for water use based on the size of their land holding. A crop calendar was also introduced in the farmer group. Training and trial production of mushrooms was carried out, with a target to farm button mushrooms in a commercial scale in the current year. Pisciculture has been initiated in both villages.
The team is also currently working on a proposal to start animal husbandry (especially goats) in the villages to provide more opportunities for livelihood. 10 farmers started cultivation in 2 acres of land, where they cultivated bitter gourd and brinjal. The farmers also organized themselves into groups to implement community fencing to prevent monkeys & other animals from eating the crops.
The farmers expect an income of INR 30,000 per acre in the upcoming rabi season, and the fisheries expect an income of INR 10,000 per beneficiary.
Two stitching centers had been established. 29 VDC members in both Jharnamuri & Bajudih have been trained in incense stick making to date. 5 girls have received a Diploma in Computer Application. 2 VLE's have been trained on Banking Services through ROINET AePS. 15 VDC members have been trained to make local washing soaps. 5 farmers have been trained on commercialization of agriculture by JASMIN. 15 beneficiaries have also been identified for duck and fish farming in Jharnamuri. The team plans to start goatry with 10 women & poultry with 2 women in village Jharnamuri & Bajudih, to strengthen VDC micro-finance activities and to promote VLE’s through microfinance investment.
A VLE from Bajudih, Laxmi, since October 2018, has earned almost one lakh in profit through making and selling incense sticks in the Bokaro district. Through her activities, she has provided 4 women income opportunities.
Health & Hygiene:
Through a partnership with Seva Mob, three health camps have been held in both villages over the course of a year. The health camp provides OPD services for the villagers (such as haemoglobin count, blood sugar testing, visual acuity tests). The doctors also advise the villagers on lifestyle changes & nutrition. The health camps are designed to give the villagers a holistic understanding of their medical needs and to guide them on how to improve their health.
Menstrual health & hygiene workshops were also held for the girls and women of Bajudih & Jharnamuri. The workshops educated the girls & women about menstruation - from busting taboos and myths, to discussing hygiene, female anatomy and creating support systems to open up a dialogue about women's health. Menstrual cups were distributed to the women in an attempt to provide safe, environmentally friendly and affordable periods. The cups were provided through a public fundraising campaign on Donatekart, and provided by Pee Safe.