Our Major Initiatives
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Enhanced Education Programme
Over 5,000 under-privileged children have so far benefitted from a group tuition programme that IndusInd Bank has been supporting since FY 2017-18. The Bank has partnered with Cashpor (a section 8 company), in collaboration with Pratham to conduct tuition support classes in 6 districts of Uttar Pradesh & Jharkhand. These are areas where the school drop-out rates are very high and where children are unable to graduate secondary school without external help.
In FY 2017-18, this programme was run across 100 education centres. In FY 2018-19, IndusInd Bank is supporting the setting up of an additional 300 centres across these 2 states that will benefit approximately 15,000 children. Besides children, the programme entails capacity building for teachers and outreach to parents through both, field visits and meetings at the centres. The aim of this outreach is to sensitize parents on the importance of education, health and hygiene and to encourage continuous attendance of their children.
The learning levels of children are assessed in English and Mathematics. Achievements have been recorded and compared against the Baseline learning levels. Learning levels are categorised into 5 grades: From Grade 1 (Knows virtually nothing) to Grade 5 (Reaching levels of Standard 5 in reading & writing paragraphs and advanced arithmetic standards).
IMPACT : The qualitative aspect of this programme has created significant impact for these 5,000+ children. For example, if we take the English subject, Grade 1 will indicate no knowledge/absolutely new to the subject while Grade 5 is for those who can read and write paragraphs. There were 1,800 students at Grade 1. Post the intervention, 715 children have moved to knowing the letters of the alphabet, while 40% moved up from Grade 4 (relatively easy reading and writing) to Grade 5 (reading and writing paragraphs).
Similarly, in Mathematics, 30% of the children who enrolled moved up from Grade 1 (knew nothing in Mathematics) to Grade 2 (knowledge of addition and subtraction). 20% moved up from Grade 4 (efficient in division and multiplication) to Grade 5 (knowledge of advanced arithmetic).
Through this initiative, IndusInd Bank aims to infuse the interest and confidence in these under-privileged children to take up higher education for better employability. Through this, the Bank further aims to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty that persists in the rural and semi-urban areas of these districts despite access to micro-finance.
Support for Education of Under-privileged Children at Dehradun
IndusInd Bank has given 75 children from families of the Lower Income Group the opportunity to quality school education which they would normally not be able to afford. These are children of the 9th and 10th Grade, with academic potential, who are predominantly from villages near Dehradun and other parts of Uttarakhand. The selection process has ensured a higher ratio of girls.
The Bank supports Purkal School at Dehradun that runs this programme. The school follows the CBSE syllabus and also benchmarks itself both nationally and internationally to evaluate their curriculum and method of operation. In fact, the school maintains a very impressive Pupil to Teacher Ratio (PTR) of 9:1, which is much lower than the PTR of 30:1 stipulated by the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) framework by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for secondary level education. This ensures greater individual attention and nurturing of the children by the teachers.
To ensure that these children get the same school experience as others, IndusInd Bank not only takes care of their academic expenses, but also provides for other ancillary needs. These include the Nutrition (Breakfast, Fruit, Evening Snack and Dinner) for 10 of these children that live in the school hostel, school bus fees, their school uniform, Learning Support (Library, Books, Global Awareness Program), Annual Day/ field visit expenses, Arts & Sports (Theatre, Skill Development, Counselling), Laboratory Expenses, Hostel Expenses (10 out of the 75 Children will be in the hostel).
As a part of the programme, the development of the children, their achievements and the impact they have on the communities will be tracked well after they have passed out from the school.
IMPACT : By providing this life-changing opportunity for these children, that they would otherwise not have access to, IndusInd Bank aims to create agents of change to impact and inspire their local communities.
Earlier, 150 students have graduated out of Purkal School and are pursuing professions in fields like Mass Media, Electronic Technology and the Merchant Navy, while others have joined the Defence and Government Services respectively. Some are pursuing professional courses in Physiotherapy, Product Design, and Fashion Design, while others are pursuing higher education from reputed universities across the world.
The Bank is looking forward to similar outcomes for the 75 children we are supporting.
Scholarships for Young India Fellowship (YIF) Programme
At IndusInd Bank, we believe in empowering the youth and supporting them to be change-makers of the future. Since FY 2015-16, through scholarships, the Bank has been supporting deserving and meritorious students to pursue multi-disciplinary education through the Young India Fellowship (YIF) Programme by Ashoka University.
Ashoka University, located at Sonepat in Haryana, is an independent private University. It is setup on the collective Philanthropy Model as an initiative by the International Foundation for Research and Education (IFRE), a sector 8 non-profit organisation.
YIF is delivered in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science SEAS, University of Michigan, King's College London, Carleton College, Sciences Po, University of California Berkeley, Trinity College Dublin, Yale University and Wellesley College. The Fellowship brings together brilliant young individuals who show exceptional intellectual ability and leadership potential from across the country. The aim is to help Fellows become well-rounded individuals who are able to think critically from multiple perspectives, communicate effectively and become leaders with a commitment to public service.
IMPACT : Till date, the Bank has supported 60 scholars from 13 states, a majority of whom are women. Over 25% of them have gone on to represent grassroots-level organisations in the Development Sector, to bring about societal and economic change and development.
Sahapedia Heritage Fellowship Programme
IndusInd Bank’s CSR Committee has identified ‘Heritage, Arts & Culture’ as an area of special interest in its CSR Policy. Sahapedia is an open online resource on the arts, cultures and heritage of India. It is an NGO headed by Mr. S. Ramadorai, the Chairman of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and the former Vice-chairman of TCS.
The Bank supports young photographers as part of the Sahapedia Heritage Fellowship Programme (Sahapedia Frames Photography Grant). As a part of the programme, Fellows have to create photo essays, as per their interest, on the untapped and under-documented heritage of India and South Asia. The purpose is to build digital repository of data on cultural sites and heritage that don’t get the deserved attention. These can later be leveraged as educational material by institutions and individuals as well as for creating awareness or as references for reconstruction of heritage sites.
The 25 Photographers in this Fellowship Programme have been selected by a panel led by renowned lensman Dinesh Khanna.
IMPACT : The photo essays of these 25 fellows will allow the world to glimpse into possibly never-seen-before slices of India’s culture and heritage. It will also help to spread awareness among young, digital-savvy Indians. This will additionally pave the way for further research in these lesser-known topics.
Legal Literacy Programme for Women
29% of women in rural India are victims of Domestic Violence according to the National Family Health Survey (NHFS-4) released by the Union Health Ministry.
IndusInd Bank, in partnership with Samhita (a section 8 company), has been conducting a legal literacy programme in Madhya Pradesh since FY 2015-16. The objective has been to build awareness among these women by training and educating them on their legal rights, entitlements, and protective laws on the issues of domestic violence and gender discrimination. 93% of these participants are married and 6% are widowed. More than 55% of them are in the age group of 18-35 years and 49% of the participants belong to socially marginalized communities (SC & ST).
Besides training, the project has built a cadre of ‘Community Catalysts’. They are the face of Samitha at the grass-root level and are specially trained in counselling and as para-legal volunteers and work with women in distress, to improve their situation. For many of these women, this programme has, for the first time, given them a voice they can use to fight domestic violence, challenge societal norms and e¬ffect change. The impact of this initiative is monitored regularly to assess its efficacy and identify any gaps therein.
IMPACT : Over 45,000 women have benefitted till date. Empowerment through awareness has been the biggest impact of this programme.
- From just 6% of the participants knowing the Women’s Helpline number at the start of the programme, 90% of participants knew the number at the end.
- From 56% of the women initially agreeing that violence at home was not a big issue, only 11% agreed on completion of the programme.
- Awareness of any protection measures against violence increased from 36% of the participants at the commencement of the programme to 95% by the culmination.
PMGDISHA (National Digital Literacy Programme)
IndusInd Bank is a technology-driven Bank and has been a pioneer of several digital products and services in the Banking Industry in India. Therefore, understanding the importance of Digital Literacy in inclusive nation-building, IndusInd Bank supports The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan (PMGDISHA). This is the national scheme that aims to capacitate 6 Crore people living in rural areas with digital literacy skills by 31st March 2019.
In support of PMGDISHA, IndusInd Bank collaborated with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology through their Special Purpose Vehicle, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited. The project commenced in FY 2017-18 to train 3,00,000 candidates through Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs), in 11 states, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.
IMPACT : With IndusInd Bank’s support, over 2,00,000 individuals have already been trained. The direct result of this capacity building in the digital space is inclusive growth through the creation of sustainable livelihoods by enhancing access to micro-finance, business opportunity, employment, education, and healthcare resources.
Economic Empowerment Programme for Women Rescued from Trafficking
India is considered as the hub in Asia as the source, destination and transit country for human trafficking. In 2016, a total of 8,137 cases of human trafficking were reported from across the country, a jump of 18 per cent over the cases reported in 2015 as per data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). However, experts believe that the actual number is much higher as most cases are not reported. These victims of human trafficking are mostly children and women from very poor families and are sold for either sexual exploitation or as bonded labourers.
IndusInd Bank has partnered with the NGO Justice & Care for the rehabilitation of 100 women rescued from trafficking, by increasing their employability through skill development. These are women from the most vulnerable districts of Bihar, namely, Gaya, Nalanda and Nawada.
In this project IndusInd Bank funds a two-level programme for these women:
1) Training During the Rehabilitation Period
This is done through a pioneering Foundation Course of Justice & Care, which was appreciated and launched by the President of India on International Women’s Day 2018. The 360-hour programme is spread over 3 months and is crafted for the survivors of trafficking. It is aimed at building their aptitude and ability and prepares them for economic and social reintegration. Areas of training, among other things, include Communicative English, IT Literacy, and Soft Skills.
2) Vocational Training
After the completion of the first level, 60% of these women will be trained further in Vocational Courses certified by NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation). These courses will be domain-specific covering domains like Retail, Hospitality, and Tailoring among others.
IMPACT : Stories of victims of trafficking contain bone-chilling facts that reveal how they have been through brutal physically and psychologically trauma, often breaking their confidence and self-esteem.
IndusInd Bank believes that this rehabilitation programme will impact these survivors in 2 ways. It will firstly help them to reintegrate successfully with society. More importantly, it will help them to regain their confidence and heal their self-esteem through economic independence.
“Without environmental sustainability, economic stability and social cohesion cannot be achieved” – Phil Harding
Drawing attention to the water crisis that India is staring at, in June 2018, the Government of India’s Niti Aayog published a report on India’s Water Management by states. The report highlights that:
- More than 600 million people face high-to-extreme water shortage.
- 75% of households do not have drinking water on premise.
- 70% of our water is contaminated; India is currently ranked 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index. This leads to nearly 200,000 deaths each year.
- 21 cities including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.
- If nothing changes, and fast, things will get much worse: the report estimates that by 2030, India’s water demand will be double that of the supply, with severe water scarcity on the horizon for hundreds of millions of people.
IndusInd Bank recognizes the urgent need for efforts in the area of Water Stewardship and is working to improve the situation in rural and urban India. Some of our projects include the following:
Watershed Development - Natural Resource Management
State: Madhya Pradesh
As a key initiative under Water Stewardship, IndusInd Bank has embarked on the Watershed Development Programme in collaboration with WOTR (Watershed Organisation Trust), an NGO, recognised widely as a premier institution in the field of participatory Watershed Development and Climate Change Adaptation.
Watershed Development is the multi-dimensional approach that has become a trusted tool for the overall development of villages living within a watershed area. A watershed area is the area around the natural drainage system (rainwater flow path) of a geographic region. Watershed Development encompasses the conservation, regeneration and the judicious use of all the resources – natural (like land, water plants, animals) and human – within the watershed area. It additionally includes dimensions like equity, sustainability, gender and peoples participation.
In the first phase, for FY 2018-19 the project is being implemented in 3 districts of Madhya Pradesh, namely Anuppur, Mandla and Chhindwara. It covers 12 villages including 2,111 households and a population of 9,218, dominated mainly by tribes like Gonds and Baigas while the remaining belong to other backward classes like Bairagi, Yadevas and Ahir. These clusters of villages have a combined geographical area of 5,122.92 ha. Of this, the combined Net Sown area is 3,150.86 ha and only 3.9% of this land (121.95 ha) is irrigated. With no water bodies in the area, there is high dependency on rainfall.
Though the selected clusters receive about 700 mm to 900 mm of rainfall annually, the water flows down the natural path, known as drainage lines, and is lost without either recharging the groundwater levels as it should or without being captured. This leads to over exploitation of Natural Resources like ground water. This has a ripple and detrimental effect on the environment, agricultural productivity, livestock, health and livelihood of the local community. Increase in poverty and marginalization is a direct outcome of all this.
The sustainable solution is Watershed Development. Below is an example of how the Watershed Development executed earlier in another project by our implementing partner (WOTR) has changed the landscape of the region over time.
The Bank’s project in the 3 districts of Madhya Pradesh has the following steps:
Social Awareness and Mobilization
The success of this project depends on the participation of local communities and the adoption of the new and sustainable practices. Therefore, the first step in the project was to create a Village Development Committee (VDC) in all villages respectively. This was followed by the conducting of village meetings, to explain the project and its activities. In addition, wealth ranking exercises are being conducted and have been completed in 7 villages so far.
The objectives behind conducting the wealth ranking exercise before the actual implementation of the project are to ensure:
Equal representation in the Village Development Committee (VDC) formed in all villages.
Additional support required by the Poorest of Poor (POP) category families in project implementation, is given to address equity.
The process also helps to understand social dynamics, which is important for the successful planning, monitoring and implementation of the project.
Soil and Water Conservation (SWC)
The steps involved include:
Initial work includes the hands-on training of the local communities, based on principle of “learning by doing” to help them understand the various treatments, and their objectives.
As a part of this, communities have initiated Soil and Water Conservation activities identified as appropriate for their respective areas. These include the construction of structures like:
- Loose Boulder Structures (LBS) to check the runoff velocity to capture fertile top soil that gets eroded. Additionally, LBS Structures help to maintain water harvesting structures like check dams by preventing silting there.
- Earthen Gully Plugs (EGPs) at the origin point of streams to reduce the speed of surface water runoff and prevent fertile soil erosion.
- Stone Bunds (SB) that are mainly constructed on farm land. The stone bunds form a barrier that slows down water runoff, allowing rainwater to seep into the soil and spread more evenly over the land. This slowing down of water runoff helps with building-up a layer of fine soil and manure particles, rich in nutrients.
Participatory Net Plan (PNP) refers to the process of surveying and planning of the type of treatment that needs to be carried out on different parts of the watershed area. In this process, the farmer couple participates along with the VDC members and the technical expert. The survey number wise plan is compiled at village level and shared with entire community.
Execution of Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) has begun in one of the clusters with the creation of Water Absorption Trenches (WAT) and will also include the creation of Continuous Contour Trenches (CCT). Both these treatment methods will reduce the water run off velocity, check soil erosion and recharge the ground water. In addition, Afforestation (the planting of trees) is being carried out where necessary.
Water Resource Development
This will include the creation of 6 water harvesting structures, primarily check dams, before the onset of the next monsoons.
Introduction of Sustainable Agricultural Practices
Villagers are trained and encouraged to take up sustainable agricultural practices through field schools and demonstrations. Recently, they have been trained on creating formulations of organic fertilizers and pesticides like amrit pani, dashparni, neemastr and amrit khaad through locally available materials. Demonstrations will be organized in the Rabi season.
IMPACT : Watershed Development Programmes are long-term projects and the intended and projected impact is manifold. The biggest primary benefit of Watershed Development is increase in the ground water table that will have a ripple effect like an increase in the area under irrigation.
- Greater availability of water for irrigation, lowering of input costs on adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and higher yield with sowing in both rabi and kharif seasons will lead to higher income in the communities.
- With the increase in green cover, availability of fodder will increase, resulting in healthier cattle and higher milk production.
- Higher income would result in better standard of living for all and more affordability of basic necessities. Purchase power will increase, positively impacting the local economy.
- With the cropping in both, the Rabi and the Kharif season, agriculture employment will be available more months of the year. This will greatly reduce distress migration from these villages to nearby towns and cities.
- Higher ground water levels mean that there is water throughout the year for irrigation and drinking. An important social impact of this is that girl children instead of walking long distances to get water get a chance to go to school instead.
- As far as the environment goes, the landscape becomes greener overtime, not only increasing the biodiversity of the region, but also increasing the availability of fodder for livestock. Greater number of trees would also increase better air quality, cooler climate and higher rainfall.
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