programmes

AIS INTEGRATED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

ais_first-paraThe core philosophy at the largest glass company in India, Asahi India Ltd (AIS) is ‘Doing good makes good business’. Corporate social responsibility is not another buzzword for them. They recognise that sustainable business development includes environmental and social considerations, which are an essential part of long-term business survival and growth – a belief shared by Youthreach.

In a unique initiative, AIS undertook several social and community development programmes that protect the interests of the communities in the vicinity of its manufacturing plants in both Rewari (Haryana) and Roorkee (Uttaranchal). In 2004, these interventions were clubbed together under the Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP) as part of its CSR. ASI invited Youthreach to design, administer, and monitor the programme for over 3 lakh people from 120 villages surrounding its plants.

The Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP) aims primarily at:

  • Providing quality services to the community in an equitable and efficient manner
  • Creating leadership within the community by strengthening their institutions
  • Developing community participation through promotion of volunteerism and cost-sharing
  • Institutionalising the interface between community institutions and government for sustainability

Funded by AIS, Youthreach has helped the company identify the key intervention areas in Rewari and Roorkee in the sectors of education, health, vocational training, micro-enterprise development, water, sanitation, financial literacy and governance. Water and sanitation, education and bus service are the focus areas in Rewari while enterprise development, forming women’s self-help groups and adult literacy have been identified as intervention areas in Roorkee.

EDUCATION

School Bus Service
One of the major initiatives in education came with the initiation of a school bus service. Over 600 girls from 38 plus villages currently use the service which has benefited some 2700 young students since its inception seven years ago and substantially brought down the dropout rate among girls. Our education programme can boast of over 250 new admissions to classes 9 and 11 in our project villages!

ais_educationAIS Unnati Centres for Remedial Education and Dropout Students
AIS funds 18 Unnati Education Centres for remedial education for in-school children and education support for out-of-school children that have reached out to 1500 students in the last five years. Over 600 young people currently access the centres at a nominal fee of Rs 30 per month. Since the last year, the centres are now supporting students of the crucial class 10 apart from classes 8 and 9. Teachers of the centres visit government schools to not only form academic linkages but also collect feedback on students’ performance at school. Ten Unnati centres also have an outreach of over 100 dropout students.

Computer education for Rural Youth
A computer centre was also set up in Bawal, Rewari, in September 2011, with the objective of spreading digital literacy to the youth from semi urban and rural backgrounds. Over 200 youth have benefited from these classes.

The computer center is a hub for the youth to receive both, practical and theoretical exposure to computer education. The computer course has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of the targeted youth. The duration of the course is for 4 months and it aims to impart basic computer and accounting programs.

The first session of the computer course commenced from October 2011 with 45 youth. Examination is conducted for all the students at the end of the course and the successful candidates are awarded course completion certificate. The programme has been very successful in bridging the gap between the youth and the job market requirements. And the course has been receiving a very positive response from the youth and the community members.

English Spoken Classes
An English spoken class has been started on a pilot basis for the rural youth to equip them with English communication skills required at work place, and 30 youth are being trained in this pilot phase.

Educational Tour
Students from all the Unnati Educational Centres were taken to Delhi and Jaipur for an exposure visit. The visit aimed at creating awareness about India’s rich heritage for the students.

Annual Sports Meet
Was organised for the children of Unnati Centres to promote, recreational activities amongst the students, at AIS Sports Ground. Students got an opportunity to visit the AIS Factory premises as well.

AIS_2VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Youthreach has set up tailoring and sewing centres in Rewari, the latest in Bawal, as part of its livelihood support programme for women. The centres train girls and young women in cutting and tailoring and are awarded certificates by AIS on completion of the course. More than 200 girls were trained this year at the vocational centre for sewing and tailoring. Members of women’s sangathans are trained for enterprise development and, through them, financial support is provided to women for agriculture, livestock, trading, and cutting and tailoring units.

These major initiatives apart, Youthreach has conducted financial literacy workshops through a Delhi-based NGO Sanchayan Society to introduce to the village women in Bawal / Rewari the concepts of budgeting, family finance, importance of savings, basics of banking, and understanding of credit. Consequent to the workshops, the participants opted for new pension schemes, PAN cards and LIC applications. In tandem with partners such as G.V.K Sanstha – Mahendergadh and Hari Om Agrasen Hospital, Rewari, Youthreach has organised health camps.

Youthreach organises exposure visits for students; teachers and members of village panchayats; life-skill sessions for girls attending AIS vocational trainings; and annual sports meets on the AIS premises.

A computer centre was also set up in Bawal, Rewari, in September 2011, with the objective of spreading digital literacy to the youth from semi urban and rural backgrounds.

The computer center is a hub for the youth to receive both, practical and theoretical exposure to computer education. The computer course has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of the targeted youth. The duration of the course is for 4 months and it aims to impart basic computer and accounting programs.

The first session of the computer course commenced from October 2011 with 45 youth. Examination is conducted for all the students at the end of the course and the successful candidates are awarded course completion certificate.

The programme has been very successful in bridging the gap between the youth and the job market requirements. And the course has been receiving a very positive response from the youth and the community members.

WATER & SANITATION

Both AIS and Youthreach believe in the indigenous wisdom of the communities they work with. Our role is, at best, to enable them by building capacities for their active and inclusive self-governance processes. To that end, Youthreach has helped form over 150 women’s groups or sangathans and nearly 30 farmer and youth groups across 110 villages towards spreading awareness in the community on water and sanitation. Regular workshops, trainings, awareness campaigns by Youthreach and lateral networking have helped mobilisation and participation in community activities.

These initiatives, made through our partner SCRIA, have benefitted over 1200 families till date. Not only have toilets been built for nearly 700 households and water tanks for close to 80 families in 2011 alone, the works have also provided livelihood support to about 480 women.

Under the Prime Minister’s Clean India Campaign, toilets have being constructed along with the Unnati Centres in order to reduce school dropout rate of girls and to help reduce open defecation in the targeted villages.

Key Intervention Areas in ROORKEE

ais_enterprize-develpomentENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
Evocatively named ‘Project Aarohan’ (which means to ascend), Youthreach has been implementing the AIS enterprise development programme which aims at broadening livelihood options of the residents in selected villages of Roorkee. This is being done by forming self-help groups (close to 130 as of 2012) comprising nearly 1500 women with linkages to local banks in the form of bank accounts and cash credit limit for some of them. The savings in the bank accounts of SHGs primarily have been used to set up close to 600 small income-generation enterprises, such as paper cup-making, weaving, trading and dairy.

An individual member can take a loan at a nominal interest rate of 2 per cent from the SHG that works as benevolent bank. Training workshops are held regularly for women and youth in the areas of enterprise initiation and management, including those on financial literacy on identical lines as Rewari.

Project Aarohan: Some highlights

  • Outreach of over 35 villages
  • Financial literacy workshops for women
  • Enrolling women in adult literacy centres
  • Skill training for women to start their enterprises
  • Exposure visits for SHG members
  • SHGs savings to the tune of over Rs. 50 lakh since programme inception

EDUCATION
ais_school-busAdult Literacy Centre An adult literacy programme has been started in 2011 to improve reading, writing and arithmetic skills of unlettered women living in rural areas in Roorkee. Five centres have been set up and 150 women have enrolled for these classes. Youthreach organised a teacher’s training programme in tandem with our NGO partner, Nirantar, which also provided the curriculum for the programme.

School Bus for girls
Nearly 1000 girls from eight villages have accessed the bus service since it started in October 2008 in Roorkee. As part of its activities and events under ICDP, Youthreach has organised street plays on themes of health, hygiene and mother and child care to sensitise the rural populace; immunisation camps accessed mostly by girls and Women’s Day celebrations.

Self Help Groups: 244 Self Help Groups for women have been set up. Assistance has been provided to 2,805 women to set up a total of 1,755 enterprises.

Adult Literacy Programme: A community adult literacy programme is being conducted in collaboration with Nirantar (a Delhi based NGO) across 10 villages for women in Roorkee. 350 numbers of women have enrolled for this community classes.

Women Empowerment: Youthreach in collaboration with Chandroti Woolens, Dehradun helped to set up a new enterprise for empowering women. Under this initiative women from the SHGs will knit products for Chandroti woolens , who in turn will buy back the finished products.

Impact Assessment Study: A team of 4 students from the University of Maryland volunteered with Youthreach and conducted an impact assessment study at 13 villages in Roorkee. The goal of the study was to analyse the impact of self help groups and develop recommendations from survey findings.