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Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana by the Ministry of Rural Development

Deadline: Closed

The Ministry of Rural Development is inviting applications from individuals and organizations on ‘Good Practices’ under under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana in various rural development sectors with an aim to bring substantial improvement in the quality and standard of life among all sections of population.

The SAGY aims to-

  • Bring forth collective intellect of the sector that will help assimilating innovative solutions, breakthroughs and good practices.
  • Documentation and sharing of good practices in rural development planning and implementation which will suggest ways and systems for replication of the models at a larger level in SAGY villages in a time bound manner.

Thematic Areas

  • Education
  • Drinking water
  • Health
  • Banks and other financial services
  • Nutrition
  • Common Service Centres
  • Sanitation
  • Transport
  • Agriculture\Allied sectors
  • Roads and communication infrastructure
  • Manufacturing, including rural industries Energy/Renewable Energy
  • Irrigation & Water Harvesting (Natural
  • Resource Management)
  • Employment /livelihood opportunities
  • Bio-Diversity
  • Food security
  • Housing
  • Development of
  • Elderly/Youth/Children/Persons with Special needs
  • ICT for Rural Development

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants –

  • The nominations are open to legal residents or organisational entities of India only
  • Individuals, Organisations (both Government / Private), Collectors, Charge Officers, PRIs, non-profit or community based organisations

Workshop –

  • The initiative should have positively impacted a reasonably larger area at the minimum one Gram Panchayat or equivalent
  • The initiative should be in operation for more than two years in the rural area
  • The initiative should be replicable and sustainable

For more information, please visit the link here.

Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge 2015

Deadline: 26 April 2015

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge awards $75,000 prize money to two innovative projects that best demonstrate how they can provide sustainable access to safe water or sanitation. Projects must have clear practical applicability, address identified needs and advance related issues such as health, education or human rights.

This is the fifth year that Reed Elsevier has held this challenge.

For more information on how to apply visit this link.

Arghyam’s grants for sanitation projects

Deadline: No deadline

Arghyam accepts concept proposals from organizations aimed to implement and manage groundwater and sanitation projects in India. Organizations with small, medium and large projects in India that meet its vision of safe, sustainable, water and sanitation for all can apply for the grants.

The Foundation supports sustainable water management towards meeting the basic water needs of all citizens, especially those from vulnerable communities. Yet the focus is basically laid on domestic water, it also takes into consideration agricultural, industrial and environmental aspects. Arghyam also occasionally funds part of expenses for workshops or conferences, training programs, awareness creation campaigns etc. relevant to water and sanitation.

The Foundation has made grants to recipients in 22 states of India since 2005, the year of it’s founding.

Focus Areas

1.     Water Security

2.     Water Quality

3.     Participatory Groundwater Management (PGWM)

4.     Sanitation

5.     Urban Initiatives

Arghyam considers support for activities and interventions in the following areas:

1.     Groundwater and sanitation focus projects that are aligned with Arghyam’s programmatic approach.

2.     Projects that work with marginalized communities in rural and urban areas.

3.     Capacity building of communities to understand and respond to their local water and sanitation needs.

4.     Innovative projects that have potential for scale and knowledge improvement.

5.     Projects that demonstrate efficiency in cost per beneficiary, last mile reach, sustainability of outcome over time, institutionalization of successful efforts, etc.

Eligibility Criteria

Charitable organization registered under Trusts Act, Society’s Act or as a section 25 Company is eligible to apply.

The participating organization must possess:

  • Certificate of registration
  • 12 A certificate and 80 G certificate from the Income Tax Department
  • Individuals or for-profit companies are ineligible to apply.
  • Organizations with innovative project proposals are encouraged to apply.
  • Participating organization’s project must ensure principles of equal access, inclusivity and display gender sensitivity.
  • Organizations ensuring social, institutional, environmental, technological and financial sustainability in their work and to the communities they work with are also eligible to apply.

For more information, please visit the link here.

Request for Proposals from Social Organizations working in the slums of Mumbai

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Our client, a large financial services company operating across the country, is looking to partner with Social Organizations for its CSR activities. The company is considering healthcare and related interventions such as water and sanitation.

Please note:

  1. The social organization would be required to help with Community Needs assessment (CNA)
  2. The duration of the program will be 1 year
  3. The project implementation would be from March to December 2015
  4. The social organization must be flexible enough to work in other slum areas
  5. The social organization must be willing to collaborate with other social organization for the same program in their area
  6. The social organization must have the ability to engage company employees

If your organization fits the above criteria, please provide us with your organizational details in this form.

Please use this budget template to fill in the RFP.

The Future Technologies for Water Competition

Deadline: July 31, 2014

The Future Technologies Water Competition is joint program of Takata Corporation and The Water Institute. Takata Corporation, dedicated to protect human life, develops new safety technologies and makes it available globally. The Water Institute providing global academic leadership for economically, environmentally, socially and technically sustainable management of water, sanitation and hygiene for equitable health and human development, is committed to further innovation in sustainable water technologies.

The first-place winner will receive $15,000, and the second-prize winner will receive $5000.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant can be an individual or a team of two or more people. An individual cannot compete on two teams.
  • The founding member of the team must have at least 25% ownership of the venture.
  • Any faculty or staff teaching or working in the field of entrepreneurship at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School or Environmental Sciences and Engineering at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health cannot take part as competitor.
  • Employee of Takata, individual directly related to a Takata employee, or already involved in Takata’s incubators is not eligible to participate in the competition.
  • Venture should not have risen more than $10,000 in seed funding or “equity financing” other than from founding members are eligible to compete. This does not include grant funding or prize money from other competitions.
  • The venture should have fewer than 10 paying customers and less than $25,000 in booked revenue.
  • The venture must be operating for no more than 12 months.

For more information on the competition, please visit here.

Charting a sustainable path towards development through community participation

As part of its CSR services, Samhita Social Ventures undertakes community needs assessment for companies to align the expectations and intentions of the company with priorities identified by the community that it seeks to benefit as a key stakeholder. This is accomplished by conducting door-to-door surveys, interviews with key informants in the village (such as sarpanch, asha worker, aanganwadi workers) and focused group discussions with the residents.

Through our intense and in-depth interaction with communities across the country, we have realized that community participation and acceptance are critical in ensuring the success of CSR programs. While the theoretical discourse on development has always acknowledged the importance of participatory approach (you may have heard of Robert Chambers and Paulo Freier), this takes on a pragmatic connotation for companies beginning to think about CSR in India.

Our work has shown that the aim should be to address social implications of corporate activities by securing community participation in decision-making and consideration of local knowledge and the environment. The community should drive and own these initiatives. Any tendency to superimpose or force CSR or other development initiatives top-down on communities could be disastrous.

So for example, during one such assessment in two clusters of Vadodara District, Gujarat it was observed that 87% people defecate openly every day. While reducing open defecation is a national and international priority, it was most interesting to note that communities in one cluster did not perceive it to be an issue. The assessment found that these communities defecated in the open not only because of the unavailability of toilets but due to low awareness of the potential health hazards, internalized behavior, accustomed practice, perception of high costs of maintaining and constructing toilets, caste based differences in terms of maintenance and cleaning, etc. It was seen that these communities appeared resistant to using toilets because of all these reasons. In this context, CSR initiatives of companies to set-up toilets for such communities to eliminate open defecation, disregarding the voices of the community, would be futile and bound to fail. The company would have, in effect, spent its funds putting up concrete structures with its branding – not used by anyone and soon falling into a state of disrepair and neglect. In fact, this is a very common sight in many villages dotted across India. One of the ways to then incorporate the community’s views and mitigate the risk of failure would be to start a behavior change communication or campaign on a long term and sustained basis. Another example flows from the needs assessment conducted in northern India. The study revealed rampant usage of traditional fuel for cooking. About 83% of people relied on cow-dung and wood as the means of cooking.  It was obvious to our eyes that this was leading to many respiratory problems among women and also causing indoor pollution. Surprisingly, the women did not seem to be too bothered. When we suggested using smokeless chullahs or stoves, most of them thought it to be flippant. Conversations with these women revealed that they preferred these smoke generating stoves because they believed that it kept the house warm, drove away insects etc. They said that they were accustomed to cooking in this way.  It is anyone’s guess as to what the results of a CSR initiative distributing free smokeless stoves to a community like this would be. Promoting smokeless chulhas in such households becomes challenging unless their beliefs are changed.

A similar reaction was observed in another needs assessment study when a group of women said they did not want personal taps and that they preferred community pumps as it was the only activity that gave them a chance to come out of their houses and socialize with other women.

In conclusion, we opine that CSR initiatives by companies or social developmental activities by NGOs should be planned in a participatory manner, in consultation with the community, literally sitting with them, and gauging their basic needs. We must take recourse to “participatory rural appraisal” and other mapping tools to identify the community needs. This, in turn, results in greater outreach and smoother implementation. And thus, a project is born.

Gyan-Setu Fellowship

Deadline: April 15, 2014

Gyan-Setu invites applications from young, motivated and passionate people, to be involved in Gyan-Setu as a Fellow. This one year full-time Fellowship program (extendable up to two years) will provide an opportunity to up to 5 fellows to be a part of this unique program aimed at working towards ‘national integration’ in remote areas of India through ‘science-based education’ using “hands-on activities”.

Please find all details about the Fellowship program in the introduction document. You can also have a look at the FAQs.

Role of fellow:

  • Member of Gyan-Setu core team
  • Coordinator – Sub team (Content development team,  Activity calendar team, Publicity team , Volunteer management team)
  • Coordinator – State (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jammu-Kashmir, Nagaland, Orissa, Jharkhand, Sikkim)
  • Study-based project

The fellow’s work place will be located in Pune with the accommodation and food facilities.  The basic stipend of INR 15,000/- per month will be provided to the fellow.

Selection criteria for the fellow:

  • Good academic record
  • Passion to work in education field: good experience of designing and conducting educational activities for school children
  • Intent to work towards disadvantaged/under-served sections of the society
  • Leadership qualities: experience of leading an initiative at college or professional level
  • Team work/organizational attitude: experience of organizing an activity in a team, e.g. college events

Selection procedure:

  1. Online application
  2. Telephonic interview
  3. In-person interview + in-field visit

Please find the application details on this link

Banka BioLoo Private Limited

The challenge

India accounts for 60% of the world’s population of open defecators. Approximately 67% of rural India does not have access to toilets and even in urban areas, the 2011 Census data showed that only 32.7% had access to a piped sewerage connection1 . With the current rate of progress the nation will miss the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation – reducing the number of people without access to water and sanitation by half by an astounding 39 years2 . Given this dismal scenario, it’s ironical that the states have been unable to utilize even the available funds. Consequently, the nation is paying the cost for not spending on drinking water and sanitation in the form of loss of working days, increased expenditure on healthcare, school drop outs, malnutrition, anaemia and infant and child mortality.

Banka BioLoo and its objective

Banka BioLoo is a social enterprise engaged in developing and promoting innovative environment friendly products and services for human waste management with the primary focus of dealing with the scourge of open defecation. They manufacture, promote and supply ELoo – the environmentally friendly bio-digester toilets. This sanitation system is commonly installed at places where conventional toilet facility can’t be made available and has proven to become a sustainable and cost effective sanitation solution. It lessens environmental degeneration and creates better health conditions.

The bio-digester technology, developed in collaboration with the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO), decomposes 99% of the human waste very effectively in a short period of time and inactivates the pathogens responsible for water-borne diseases.

Banka BioLoo also offers other services such as rentals and annual maintenance contracts (AMC), mobile bio-toilets, consultancy for development of large bio-tanks, waste water treatment and recycling solutions and supporting low cost housing projects for better sanitation requirement in rural and urban areas.

The market for their bio-digester technology solutions is schools, villages, small communities, resorts, construction sites, inlands, public sector units (PSU), private sector enterprises, industrial factories and places where there are no sewage lines or direct connection to the municipal sewerage systems.

Corporate Partnerships

Banka BioLoo has had several successful corporate partnerships. They often receive enquiries for bio-toilets from different corporate entities. Once the enquiry comes in they send a rate quotation and if selected, they partner to manufacture and provide bio-toilets to these companies, and to beneficiaries as a part of their CSR activities. They first engaged in a pilot for Larsen & Toubro Metro Rail (L&T), an Indian Multinational Company (MNC) with businesses in engineering, information & technology, construction, manufacturing among others, for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative in sanitation.

They are now a preferred vendor for L&T and have installed 8 bio-toilet blocks at the L&T Metro construction sites and depots in Hyderabad. There are more follow-on orders in the pipeline.

They have also provided environment-friendly sanitation solutions and installed bio-toilet blocks construction sites for Shapoorji Pallonji, an Indian group with business interests in construction, real estate, power and finance among others, and International Paper, one of the world’s largest paper companies. There are more project orders from such companies on the anvil. They partner with NGOs that promote innovative sanitation technologies in villages for local community buy-in and implementation.

They have also had significant collaborations with PSUs. Their biggest client has been the Indian Railways. They have won bids through a tendering process to supply their innovative bio-technology products and services to the railways on specific rate contracts. They have also entered into an agreement for other services such as 2 AMCs for 4 years and sale of spares for Control Discharge Toilet System (CDTS) to the Indian Railways. This relationship has been productive and is expected to continue in the future.

Benefits to the Social Enterprise

Upscale and expansion

Banka BioLoo has been able to scale up rapidly as a result of these business partnerships. Corporates typically have large orders and these volumes have helped build a sustainable revenue stream. The technological innovation and design of toilets have assisted Banka BioLoo in enhancing the value proposition it delivers to its clients as well as the end users. They are able to expand without difficulty also because the toilets are mobile and therefore they can service corporate clients operating in far-flung areas at construction sites and industrial units in tough terrains where there is no sewerage facility.

Visibility

Working with prominent companies such as L&T, Shapoorji Pallonji, International Paper and the Indian Railways lends tremendous credibility to Banka BioLoo’s efforts. These partnerships provide immense visibility and act as endorsements for their excellent products and services and hence increase the possibility of other large companies sourcing the bio-toilets from them.

Sustainability

Partnering with large and eminent companies that also keep growing also leads to further possibilities for Banka BioLoo, often leading to repeat orders. An example of this is the Indian Railways which is undertaking the task of implementing bio-toilets in all trains and this will ensure that Banka BioLoo will get more orders. As it also provides several other services such as AMC, there are opportunities for additional sources of revenue.

Benefits to the Corporate Partners

Creating Value Addition

By partnering with Banka BioLoo, companies have been able to play a critical role in creating sustainable social impact among its workforce, in the communities in which they operate and in the case of the Indian Railways across the nation as a whole, helping address issues of sanitation, health and environmental sustainability. Supporting community based interventions such as this also help companies create visibility and reputation among its unskilled and contract workers.

Improved Productivity

By providing better sanitation facilities the companies are ensuring their workforce remains healthy by reducing the possibility of being inflicted with water-borne diseases. This is particularly beneficial when the companies have plants in areas that do not have existing access to good quality sanitation facilities. When the workforce is healthy they will be more productive and the company will benefit from more workdays.

Affordability

The leveraging of technological innovations by Banka BioLoo also helps provide cost leadership and makes the delivery and service of sanitation infrastructure more affordable for its corporate customers.

Image Building

Installation of bio-toilets in the coaches by the Indian Railways helps provide better service to its customers while also preventing human waste to be disposed on the tracks. There is an immense benefit to families that live close to rail tracks as they get fecal matter free environment. Improved customer satisfaction helps build a better image of the Railways among the travellers and they are more likely to use the services.

Conclusion

The partnerships that Banka BioLoo has built with the different types of companies are direct indications of the simplest means through which corporates can invest in clean sanitation practices. These partnerships are also examples of strategic CSR wherein companies are able to both fulfil business objectives through increased productivity with healthy workers and engage their community also consisting of their contract workers who are important stakeholders. This will especially be true for any company with a community presence, such as a manufacturing plant(s) or onsite construction. These partnerships also exemplify how partnering with a company can help a company scale in size and visibility very quickly.

 


  1. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/water-priorities-for-urban-india/article5523652.ece
  2. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-will-achieve-sanitation-goals-only-by-2054/article3250852.ece
  3. Photo Credit : http://www.bankabio.com/ (here)