HCL Samuday, established in 2014, is HCL Foundation's initiative to develop a sustainable, scalable, and replicable model – a source code for economic and social development of rural areas. This is at present being done by working in 765 villages from 164 Gram Panchayats of Uttar Pradesh across six sectors – Agriculture; Education; Health; Infrastructure; Livelihood; and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), in partnership with state government, village communities, NGOs, knowledge institutions and allied institutions. The project envisions to identify and also formulate suitable development models, for uplifting rural India holistically, through optimal interventions in selected villages across the above mentioned six sectors.
Under the Agriculture vertical, HCL Samuday works to increase the farm income of marginal farmers by 25%. This is being done by creating mobilised groups of farmers whose knowledge about scientific farming practices are developed step-by-step through training programs at every cropping stage. Key training programs include Soil testing with the help of Govt. labs to understand the nutrient value of the soil and calculate the input required, accounting techniques to help farmers take Farming as Business, Nursery Management, Integrated Nutrition Management, Integrated Pest Management and Post-Harvest Management.
Along with introduction of modern farming equipment and institutionalisation of farmer clubs to make agriculture less burdensome and more market-linked, novel concepts like Nutrition Garden, and Bori Bagicha are propagated to help marginal farmers further save their household income.
Under the Education vertical, HCL Samuday works to ensure that every child has access to quality education in an effective learning environment, and 100% villagers have functional literacy.
While ICT-based intervention Shiksha Initiative and community mobilisation based intervention Transition strive to make quality education accessible to all by helping teachers deliver better the state education curriculum coupled with increase in enrolment and attendance rates of students resulting in augmentation of their analytical skills and learning capacities, Happy School intervention takes care of availability of the necessary infrastructure and its optimal utilisation for making sure that an effective learning environment exists. Finally, Shiksha+ intervention is the ammunition in the battle for eradicating illiteracy.
Under the Health vertical, HCL Samuday works to reduce Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate, and make Primary Healthcare services accessible to all in the community. Primary focus in this sector rests on three themes: (1) building the capacity of health workers to help them carry out their daily responsibilities; (2) improving the health-related infrastructure to make better health facilities available and accessible to all; and (3) increasing community engagement for better health. A host of interventions are trying to ensure this.
While interventions like Mobile Mentoring Van, Nurse Mentor, Staff Nurse, and Health Resource Centre help build the capacity of frontline workers, Refurbishment of existing health centres and System Strengthening help improve the state of infrastructure in the area. Community engagement in existing government/community platforms like VHND, VHSNC, and AAA is qualitatively improved leading to growth in demand from community for better healthcare services; Screening Camps followed by Nutrition Camps tackle the mammoth problem of Malnutrition; and Mobile Health Clinic is vital in making primary healthcare services accessible to all.
Under the WASH vertical, HCL Samuday works to ensure completely clean villages with access to clean drinking water for everyone. The focus here is on addressing both infrastructure and behaviour change related issues.
Working on the human emotional facets of disgust, pride, need, relevance, and ease, the Community-Led Total Sanitation strategy has been adopted for motivating households to build and use toilets. Alongside, an Open Defecation Elimination Plan for the villages is developed and executed in close coordination with local government officials. For making clean drinking water available and accessible to all, wherever possible, chlorination of functional hand pumps is carried out. This is complemented by development of piped drinking water supply system by facilitating construction of Over-Head Tanks in collaboration with the local community.
Under the Livelihood vertical, HCL Samuday works to ensure that all marginal households have an alternate source of income. This is being done by (1) strengthening existing supply chain of agri-allied income generating activities – Dairy, Poultry, Goat farming, Fishery, Vermicomposting, Cuniculture, etc.; (2) strengthening women institutions: mobilizing, strengthening and federating community institutions and then linking them with financial institutions & economic activities; (3) establishing individual and group based business enterprises at local level for sustained employment, supported by financial and market resources; and (4) skill upgradation of youth to ensure sustained wage or self-employment.
Under the Infrastructure vertical, HCL Samuday works to bring electricity to un-electrified habitations; and ensure a non-disruptive supply of electricity in health centres and schools. The former is being done by setting up solar mini-grids whose sustainable operation and maintenance is guaranteed by formulating Solar User Groups (comprising of community members). The latter task of facility electrification is being accomplished by roof-top solar installation.