Wardha residents to get access to clean and safe drinking water

8/3/2014

Monsanto Fund and AFPRO partner to inaugurate RO water plant that will benefit villagers in the area

Wardha, August 3, 2014: Padegaon and nearby villages in Wardha district will now have access to clean and safe drinking water, as Monsanto Fund and NGO, Action for Food Production (AFPRO) have partnered to install a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water plant in the village as part of a larger project which covers 25 villages in five clusters across Maharashtra state.

The RO water filtration equipment is supplied and installed by Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, a leading agriculture company providing technology – based solutions and products that improve farm productivity, as part of a two year partnership with AFPRO.  AFPRO, an NGO working for rural poor through effective natural resource management solutions, will focus on utilising the benefits of this RO plant, to provide safe drinking water in the area.

This initiative is a part of the two year project which covers 25 villages in five clusters across Maharashtra and aims to improve water and sanitation facilities, by constructing 500 toilets (20 per village, in 25 villages) and conducting awareness camps on health and sanitation. Apart from this, the overall project aims to empower women with livelihood skills, by strengthening self-help groups at 10 per village in 25 villages and providing them skill based training. Started in July 2013, this partnership will be a two year project till July 2015. A total of 2,100- meters of pile line is installed as part of this project. Under the initiative, about 79 toilets have been constructed under direct Monsanto support in different villages across these districts & about 213 toilets are constructed under convergence scheme with the Government of Maharashtra.

Apart from RO water facility, the village Padegoan is also supported for promotion of sanitation activity and a total of 90 toilets have been constructed through direct project support and through convergence with the Government  

The RO plant was inaugurated by Shri Ranjit Kamble, Hon’ble Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation, Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection, Tourism and Public Works, Government of Maharashtra. Shri Kamble was accompanied by Sh.M.Nawin Sona, District Collector, Wardha, Shri Uday Chaudhari, CEO, Zilla Parishad Wardha, and Sh. Dnyaneshwar Dhage, President of Zilla Parishad, Wardha, besides Ms Juhi Gupta – Manager CSR from Monsanto and Mr Madhav – Lead, Human Rights during the inauguration ceremony.

Hon’ble Minister, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Ranjit Kamble, lauded the efforts of Monsanto and AFPRO while inaugurating the RO water plant and said, “It’s indeed a great initiative by Monsanto Fund and AFPRO, a significant step towards improving the drinking water conditions in the village. This RO plant will pave the road for a long term well-being of the residents of Padegaon and nearby villages by providing them clean and safe drinking water. I extend my best wishes to Monsanto Fund and AFPRO for the project.

Talking about Monsanto’s role in this initiative, Ms Juhi Gupta – Manager CSR at Monsanto said, “We take the health and well-being of our farming communities very seriously and put the best foot forward in order to improve the lives of farmers. Being a responsible corporate citizen in the field of agriculture, we understand that provision of safe drinking water is a big challenge for our fellow farmers in the region of Wardha that takes a toll on their health. We are committed towards improving the life conditions of farmers not only on the field, but off the field as well, and will continue to do so.”

Earlier this year, trainings were provided to the Gram Panchayat in Yavatmal on the method of chlorination and need based health camps were organised in the villages especially for women. While the foundation stone towards a healthier tomorrow has already been laid, incidences like reduction in water borne diseases, health benefits due to installation of RO plants and proper chlorination will be recorded in the coming months.

Monsanto’s special focus through the project is on convergence with the local Government for carrying out land and water resource development activities to build the capacities of the local Panchayats in mobilising external support and resources. The respective communities will be made responsible to work cohesively on water issue by forming a local water committee that will look after water treatment and distribution. As a result of this initiative, treated water will be available at a cheaper price and in immediate vicinity of villagers, thus minimising the need to commute to nearby towns to purchase water. Local schools will also get free treated water and the initiative will help improve health of the villagers as they will be immune to water borne diseases.

Monsanto Fund - the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company was established in 1964. For more than 40 years, the Monsanto Fund has worked to substantially and meaningfully improve the lives of people around the world by bridging the gap between their needs and their resources. Monsanto Fund has sought to improve the well-being of people by supporting projects in four primary areas of Educate (Science Education), Benefit (Nutritional Improvement through agriculture), Protect (Healthy Environment) and Support (Our Communities).

AFPRO provides technical guidance and backup support to grassroots level NGOs for the implementation of environmentally friendly projects for water, food security, livelihoods and allied capacity building.

About Monsanto India

Monsanto India is focused on improving lives by enabling farmers to produce more and conserve more through its innovative high-yielding DeKalb corn, Seminis vegetables and Paras cotton seeds;  in-the-seed insect protection Bollgard Bt cotton biotechnologies;  on-ground farmer extension and mobile-based farmer AgVisory® services offering customized crop management recommendations from sowing to harvest to 800,000+ farmers; Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with six State Governments (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra) through better inputs, improved agronomic practices, and user industry market linkages. Monsanto India is ranked 18 in Great Place To Work – Overall; and India’s #4 Great Place To Work in Companies with Below 1,000 Employees in the recent years; and in nine out of the last ten years, Monsanto was ranked among India’s Best Employers, and Great Places To Work in India.

About AFPRO

Action for Food Production (AFPRO) as a secular socio-technical development organization with Christian inspiration visualizes itself as working to enable the rural poor – including women and men belonging to small and marginal farmers and the landless, dalits, tribal people, fisher folk and unemployed youth – to move towards sustainable development, through and overall increase in their knowledge and skills in areas that directly affect their standard and quality of life. 

For further details, please contact

Ruchi Sharma

Monsanto India

ruchi.sharma@monsanto.com; +91 84510 00165

 

Anuj Gupta

Edelman India

anuj.gupta@edelman.com; +91 99711 08836