Shivaji Nagar is among a group of 40 villages located at about 20 km from Pune on the Pune-Bengaluru highway. Through their geographic proximity, the inhabitants of these villages have cultural and societal commonalities, as well as share some facilities for health and education. A majority of the inhabitants of these villages depend on agriculture as their sole source of income.
To enable the progress of the community there is a need to facilitate sustainable development on an infrastructural level, economically empower the youth and women of the villages and improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the villages.
Sterlite is partnering with The Art of Living Foundation, in a project that spans 5 years to develop a Model Village that involves a 5H implementation – developing homes, building of facilities to promote hygiene, undertaking health awareness initiatives, instilling human values and facilitating harmony within the Model Village. Says Pravin Agrawal, Director – Sterlite Technologies, “Our objective is to give back to society in such a way that needs of the weaker sections are responded to and improvements made in the quality of their lives. All the projects we partner with, address the fundamental domains of environment, health and education.”
Since the initiation of the project in October 2009 Sterlite, The Art of Living Foundation and the youth of the villages worked cohesively and several schemes have already been successfully initiated:
Breath Water Sound Workshops
Village cleanliness campaign
Tree plantation drive
Empowerment of women through vocational training
Training program in Youth Leadership
Keeping in focus the aspects of safety and environment protection, a unique initiative was also undertaken at Shivaji Nagar, an electricity deprived village. The Art of Living Foundation worked in collaboration with Project Dharma to source and to facilitate the most suitable solar lighting solution for Shivaji Nagar. These solar lamps provided an eco-friendly, safe and convenient alternative to kerosene lamps.
According to Ankit Agarwal, co-founder, Project Dharma ‘We are proud to be associated with this great initiative of Art of Living and Sterlite Technologies, and are committed to providing livelihood creation and innovative solutions to villages across India’ Future schemes at Shivaji Nagar also include the development of public sanitation facilities and enhancement of education under the 5H implementation. The intrinsic involvement of the youth of the villages in the execution of the project has been a noteworthy aspect of the implementation methodology. This has helped create a sense of self-pride within the community, instilled human values and facilitated communal harmony within the villages.
To date, more than 1000 inhabitants of these villages have been benefited by the Model Village Development Project.