Mahindra & Mahindra - Sultanpur District, U.P
“MPowered Village Program”
Extending the “MPowered Village Program” that was initiated in 2015 in Khushinagar, Mahindra & Mahindra and the Heart ‘n Soil Foundation are working in three villages in the Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
The main objectives of this project were to electrify the villages, provide skilling and livelihood opportunities for the womens’ SHG groups (incense stick making, vermicomposting, stitching, cosmetic skills) and to provide support to local farmers through the creation of farmer groups, integrated farming initiatives and the provision of improved irrigation facilities by way of a 5HP solar water pump.
38 solar street lights were installed in the villages of Lalakapurwa, Palahipur and Bhatankapurwa.
Stitching centres by the name of Jagran Mahila Swayam Sahayata Samuh & Sanslishti Stitching Centre were established, where currently, 8 women are working. 30 women who have been trained to stitch. 7 girls have completed their higher stitching course, through a certification programme being run by the Bank of Baroda.
We also have 25 women who have been trained in cosmetic skills and 6 of them are working in the local beauty parlour. Some women were also trained to make agarbattis, for which market linkages are actively being pursued. We would like to acknowledge Mr. Baldev Singh, of Meet Associates for taking an active and personal interest in the entire project, and for helping create market linkages - especially for the agarbattis being made in the villages. He placed an order of agarbattis for Meet Associates, from the Mahindra MPowered villages for the festive season of 2019.
18 women have been trained on candle-making, 10 women had applied for and received a license to produce spices (grinding & packaging). The process of production is now being monitored for quality and hygiene. Their products are being sold in the local markets
Looking ahead, the women's SHG has had discussions on starting goatry, a sports club and running tuition classes for children.
Farmer groups were mobilized and sensitized towards farming initiatives that can help them enhance their disposable income. Training programmes were also introduced with respect to seed treatment, pest control and commercializing agriculture along with the KVK (Krishi Vigyan Kendra) Team. 29 farmers between the three villages took part in the Farmer Awareness Programme, where they learned about paddy, water management & pest control. 15 women joined the KVK Training Programme which focused on poultry, pisciculture and cultivation, with the aim to create a holistic eco-system.
In Lalakapurwa, 10 farmers have been equipped with a 5HP Solar Irrigation Pump, which will benefit 20 acres of agricultural land. 2 low cost rainwater harvesting systems have been installed on a pilot basis, the water from which can be used for non-drinking purposes and reduces the stress on ground water resources. Based on the response to the harvesting systems installed, the project will then be expanded to the other villages. 2 vermicomposting pits have been set up in Palahipur. An initiative for lemon plantations was also undertaken in Palahipur, where 10 women have been trained to cultivate the plants and 30 lemon trees have been planted across different households.
Health & Hygiene:
In Sultanpur, menstrual health and hygiene workshops were conducted for the women of Palahipur & Lalakapurwa. To improve public health, 20 dustbins have been provided in Lalakapurwa & Palahipur to cleanliness & hygiene of villages.