Yavatmal residents to get access to clean and safe drinking water

8/5/2014

Monsanto Fund and AFPRO partner for Integrated Project on access to Clean Water, Sanitation & Women Empowerment

Yavatmal, August 5, 2014: Manpur and nearby villages in Yavatmal 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 plant was inaugurated by Ms Nandini Parvekar, MLA, Yavatmal, in the presence of Sh. Ashwin Mudgal, District Collector-Yavatmal, Dr Mallinath Kalshetti, CEO, Zilla Parishad-Yavatmal accompanied by Ms Juhi Gupta-Manager CSR and Mr Madhav, Lead Human Rights from Monsanto.

Ms Nandini Parvekar, MLA, Yavatmal, extended her best wishes on the initiative saying “It’s a great cause that Monsanto Fund and AFPRO have taken a step towards. Safe drinking water is a huge challenge being faced by the residents of Yavatmal and poses a problem to not only the health, but even the lives of farmers in extreme cases. This initiative is already touching hundreds of lives in a positive manner, and I am sure that thousands of residents will reap the benefit of this plant going forward.

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 10 self-help groups per village spread across a total of 25 villages, by providing them skill-based training. Started in July 2013, this partnership will be a two year project until July 2015.

Talking about Monsanto’s role in this initiative, Ms Juhi Gupta, Manager CSR, Monsanto, said, “We are an organisation with complete focus on farming and farming communities. We do realise the importance of clean and safe drinking water in our lives and are determined to provide sustainable long term solutions to the residents of Yavatmal. ”

Apart from RO water facility, the village Manpur has been provided with a new drinking water pipeline to improve the coverage of existing water supply scheme and ensure that all the household have access to potable drinking water. To promote sanitation and hygiene standards, nearly 70 new toilets have been provided across Yavatmal, about 18 of them in Manpur village. With this the village has now achieved 100% sanitation coverage and has become free from open defecation. Additionally, as a part of women empowerment initiatives in the project, three SHGs were set up to promote the establishment of women-led local enterprises like chilly & spices grinding, cloth and general stores, stationery shop etc. Besides financial contribution in establishment of the enterprises, the project aims to establish linkages with financial institutions for better functioning of such local enterprises.

Earlier this year, trainings were provided to the Gram Panchayat in Yavatmal on chlorination methods alongwith other need-based health camps. While the foundation stone towards a healthier tomorrow has already been laid, parameters like reduction in water borne diseases, health benefits due to installation of RO plants and proper chlorination will continue to be monitored for the duration of the project.

Monsanto’s special focus through the project is on partnering with the local Government to extend water resource development activities and 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 to look after day-to-day water treatment and distribution. As a result of this initiative, treated water will be available at an affordable price and in immediate vicinity of villagers, thus minimising the need to commute to nearby towns to purchase water. Local schools will also get treated water free of cost, and the initiative will help improve health of the villagers by enhancing immunity to water borne diseases.

Monsanto Fund - the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, was established in 1964. For more than 40 years, 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