IndiGo leadership team visits Gram Vikas at the start of a new partnership


By GV News Desk

20 March 2023

The top leadership of IndiGo and their team visited the Bhubaneshwar office of Gram Vikas on 25 February 2023.

IndiGo CEO Peiter Elbers, Group CHRO Sukhjit S Pasricha, Chairperson of InterGlobe Foundation Rohini Bhatia, VP of Corporate Communications C Lekha, Director of CSR Raju Sharma and their team met up with Gram Vikas team, including Chairman Joe Madiath, Governing Board Members Anup Kumar Mahapatra and Sanjeev Nayak, and Executive Director Liby Johnson.

The visiting delegation engaged with the team while viewing a curated exhibition on Gram Vikas’ history and work in Water Secure Gram Panchayat and Safe and Dignified Migration Programmes. The event also had special exhibits on Automatic Weather Stations that provide weekly weather advisory and forecast services to farmers at the village level.

Surekha, a Gram Vikas Spring Stewardship Fellowship and now a microentrepreneur from the ongoing InterGlobe Foundation supported programme in Kalahandi, had brought saplings of indigenous plants from her nursery for exhibit and sale to the visitors.

New partnership to benefit environment and livelioods

The partnership with IndiGoReach, IndiGo’s CSR arm, will benefit 52 remote Adivasi villages in Gajapati, Odisha, with improved water security, land productivity, incomes and long-term benefits from positive climate action at scale.

New infrastructure and promotion of land and water conservation measures in 250 acres will result in improved water availability, soil moisture, land productivity and resultant incomes from agriculture.

The project will focus on building women’s livelihoods through setting up of microenterprises for conservation of indigenous species and in others, such as livestock rearing or mushroom farming as per their aspirations. Women small holder farmers will learn to adopt intercropping and practice low-input farming and establish backyard kitchen gardens.

Local employment generation through the project is expected to result in a 20% reduction in migration.

Sustainable at-scale impact of past partnership

InterGlobe Foundation first partnered with Gram Vikas in 2018 to enable forest-dependent communities with limited access to forest resources to create, own and manage their productive forests.

The initiative benefitted 1,960 acres across the intervention villages in Kalahandi, Odisha. It resulted in a 15% increase in spring water discharge, created 2,00,000+ social and agroforestry plantations. The 940 acres of hilly land treated per watershed and springshed principles in the project villages have reduced rainfall runoffs, soil erosion and increased soil moisture.

There is more water available for drinking and domestic use in the villages. Better land productivity and agricultural production have raised cash incomes from inter-cropping, and horticulture produce for the Adivasi smallholder farmers dependent on these lands. Families in the 13 project villages have grown a second paddy crop on 145 acres.

SHGs and entrepreneurs have taken up nursery development activities, earning a profit of ₹3.7 lakhs from selling saplings used for plantation activities. More local work available through the project has also reduced migration frequency from these villages. Village-level volunteers have even prepared seed balls for plantation, a cost-effective way to raise sturdy plantations on the degraded slopes.

Recognition for climate action and community development

Surekha Majhi, hailing from the remote Adivasi village of Chirikelguda, and who received the 10th Earth Care Awards for exemplary stewardship of Community-based Climate Action in June last year, was also present during the meeting; she spoke about her work as a Jal Bandhu.

Surekha, a part of the first cohort, enrolled for the Spring Stewardship Fellowship and learnt about springshed and watershed monitoring and management to fight climate change-induced water scarcity. She mobilised people in her village and nearby villages to conserve land and water resources. The communities shifted from slash-and-burn to more sustainable modes of agriculture and compiled estimates of water demand and usage at the household and community level.

Surekha operated central and village-level plant nurseries as a Jal Bandhu. Today, she is a microentrepreneur

A second batch of seven Jal Bandhus will graduate in March 2023.

The Global Center for Adaptation recognised our work in promoting capacities, knowledge and community leadership with a top-5 global nomination at the 2022 Local Adaptation Champions Award at the United Nations COP27 in Sharm-el-sheik, Egypt.

IndiGoReach partnership to benefit 2000+ households

Gram Vikas’ new partnership with IndiGoReach aims to strengthen community institutions and women’s leadership benefitting 2112 Adivasi households in Odisha’s Gajapati district.

Learn more about the new partnership: https://bit.ly/3KGJPpl

The IndiGo leadership team and Gram Vikas team meeting at the Administrative Office, Bhubaneswar.

Photograph by Ajaya Kumar Behera


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