Ambuja Cement Foundation ties up with SLB to implement women & water program in Barmer

Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) has partnered with SLB Limited to implement Community Development Programs in the Barmer district of Rajasthan.

Under this partnership ACF aims to empower women through Self-Help Group (SHG) formation, reach out to adolescent girls and focus on bringing water tohousehold doorsteps by encouraging building rooftop rainwater harvesting systems.

The joint project will cover 5 villages of the Gudamalini block of Barmer, reaching over 7200 beneficiaries and 2300 households, ACF said in a statement.

Under the Women Empowerment initiative, ACF will focus on capacity building of women who belong to socially and economically weaker sections of the society.

The area in the desert state is a typical rural setting where females are restricted to household chores,have no say in family decision making and are primarily housebound. These women have no access to higher education and are financially dependent on male members of their families. They are even victims of dowry and domestic violence.

Due to these issues SLB’s CSR Lead, Shreya Sudhir and ACF’s Senior Management have decided to come together to mobilisethese rural women,organise them into groups, and support them in becoming self-reliant.

Talking about the new partnership, Ambuja Cement Foundation CEO Pearl Tiwari said, “We not only aim to empower women, but build their confidence to overcome the many varied social problems they face. The partnership helps us take a step forward towards our vision of rural prosperity and we look forward to empowering these women to become agents of change in their families and communities."

The joint program intends to strengthen the existing 42 SHGs by conducting training program and exposure visits, along with initiatingincome generation activities. ACF will also introduce social security schemes, and encourage stakeholder meetings and workshops in the villages.

ACF will form groups of adolescent girls - providing training and awareness on areas like nutrition and health education, life skills, access to public services and child care practices, whilst also conductinghealth check-ups along with counselling and guidance on family welfare. Vocational training will also be provided to rural girls above the age of 16 under the National Skill Development Program.

To enhance year-round access to water, ACF will encourage households to set up Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting systems to capture rainwater and provide drinking water in their homes. Households will be offered support to build systems with a water storage capacity of 10,000 litres.

Barmer is an area outside the current functional geography of Ambuja Foundation. However, as a grassroots implementation agency with almost 3 decades of vast experience in remote rural areas, ACF is able to replicate its program models seamlessly. Rajasthan is one of the largest priority states for ACF’s community development work, thus both regional skills and networks will be harnessed to reach out to beneficiaries in Barmer.
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