About ACF

Friday, April 28, 2017

Silver & Bronze Olympic Medals for AMK!

Shamsher Singh (24), a student from Ambuja Manovikas Kendra in Punjab, bagged two medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games hosted in Austria in March 2017 - proudly bringing home a Silver and Bronze in Snowshoeing (100 m race and 50 m race respectively) for his performance.

Other impressive performers included Neha, who was part of the Indian Floorball team that finished at sixth place.  Aged just 16, Neha enrolled at AMK in 2011 and has blossomed as a result over the last 6 years.

Commenting on the success of the athletes, Mr. Suresh Thakur, Principle Ambuja Manovikas Kendra, said “It is a proud moment for the team at Ambuja Manovikas Kendra.  These accomplishments go a long way in reiterating that India’s special athletes are highly talented and capable to compete not only in India, but also on bigger global platforms." He said.

"These success stories inspire the team at Ambuja Manovikas Kendra to invest more in training to equip our students for national and global scale sporting events.” Mr. Thankur exclaimed.

Ambuja Cement Foundation's AMK students have won many medals in different competitions before - including titles in Punjab State Olympics for 11 continuous years and bringing home a haul of 13 Olympic Medals from the last five World Special Olympic Games in Dublin, Greece, Athens, Los Angeles and Austria.

AMK is the only facility for special children in the entire district of Ropar filling the gaps in essential services towards them. At present the school caters to 106 children, all broadly fitting into the category of mentally challenged, and provides them with a conducive environment tailored to meet individual developmental needs. 

ACF Unites Leaders for 'World Water Day'

ACF commemorated the World Water Day 2017 by bringing together 133 leaders in Water Resource Management from across the country for ‘A Participatory Dialogue on Co-creating Water Positive Communities - Exploring Synergies, Sharing Solutions’.
Held on the 22nd of March at the Ahmedabad Management Association in collaboration with 4th Wheel Social Impact, the event aimed to share knowledge and empower the country's Water Leaders with solutions to key challenges faced in creating Water Positive Communities.
Whilst discussing many key issues, the Sustainability of Community Water Initiatives emerged as a key threat, due to need to differentiate between ‘water for life’ (drinking water) and ‘water for livelihood’ (irrigation) and to create strong institutions around them.
Proposed solutions included the need to establish an apex body at the village level who will play an influential role in bringing solutions and taking action.
The discussion also emphasized on potential of technology to bring innovations to water sector. However it was also recognized that there was a need to develop tier-two institutions at the community level - women self help groups to manage drinking water and farmer Institutions to manage agriculture water.

It was discussed how critical it was that institutions should be formed at the start of the project and be offered hand-holding support and capacity building, throughout the project duration.
Ambuja Cement Foundation has a key strength and focus on the development of 'people's institutions' and their model of participatory development in communities has been a large contributor to the ongoing success of water initiatives.

Innovative Solutions for Maternal & Child Health

Fifty key stakeholders from the 'Maternal & Child Health' sector came together in Mumbai in March 2017, to identify innovative solutions to key challenges faced in service delivery at a community level.
The half-day event A Participatory Dialogue on Maternal and Child Health – evidence, reflections, way forward.’ was organized by Ambuja Cement Foundation in partnership with the Foundation for Research for Community Health (FRCH), Pune and Charutar Arogya Mandal, Anand.
The provision of performance based incentives; the strengthening of the quality of master trainers at state and district levels; and the introduction of technology in data collection were just some of the ideas raised. Other ideas shared were bringing role clarity for rural healthcare workers and exploring public private partnerships for maternal and child health.
The aim of the dialogue was to bring together stakeholders from relevant sector who are relentlessly working to improve community health and have richer availability of knowledge in the field.
Sessions witnessed talks and discussion by veterans and eminent personalities on topics such as Overview of Maternal and Child Health in India; Evidence-based Interventions to Reduce Neonatal and Infant Mortality; and the Role of Various Stakeholders in Achieving the Vision for MCH. 
Rural healthcare intervention has been one of the primary focus areas for ACF since its very inception. It has been implementing innovative programs that promote community and sustainable development with a focus on implementing an evidence-based approach for most of its flagship projects on home-based new-born care.
ACF has been working to align several organizations to come together and create breakthrough programs pertaining to its thrust areas. 

India Today TV Feature

Ambuja Cement Foundation’s Water Resource Management initiatives in the village of Rabriyawas, Rajasthan, were recently showcased as part of the Impact Feature program by India Today.

The video comes as yet another national television special which highlights the impact of our Water Resource Management program.

ACF has been working in this region since 1993, to build and sustain water positive communities and a recent Social Return on Investment Study showed that for every Rs 1 million invested, Rs 5.26 million resultant social return.

Key quantitative findings:
·       32.4% respondents felt that water availability has improved health, safety and wellness. Of this 11.3% particularly felt this in relation of women’s health, safety and wellness.
·       9.3% respondents felt that their crop yield has improved after improved access to water.
·       11.5% respondent felt an improvement in women empowerment.
·       25.2% respondent felt that water accessibility has improved sustainability culture.

Key qualitative findings:
·       Farm ponds and micro-irrigation technologies are highly efficient in utilizing the water effectively drop by drop to harvest in all the 3 seasons or at least 2 seasons - transforming barren land to irrigated lands.
·       Farmer’s safety is drastically improved with the introduction of Vertical Turbine pumps. Farmers used to get down under water to unclog pumps and suffer fatalities and serious injury as a result.

World Women's Day Celebrations

Thousands of women from across Ambuja Cement Foundation Communities came together to celebrate World Women's Day on 8th March 2017 with a variety of events to highlight the role of women in catalyzing change in their communities, and generating prosperity within the family.

Women presented plays, watched puppetry, shared experiences, sang songs, played sports and heard from numerous eminent speakers on important issues such as Female Feticide, Girl Child Education, Women's Rights and Anemia among women.

In Darlaghat, 500 women came together for a cultural day, and were moved by a key address ”Know your Rights” by Ms. Kamla (Head Constable) Police Thana-Darlaghat - outlining women's rights in relation to issues such as domestic violence and the rules framed for their protection. 
400 women from Chirawa came togetehr under the theme of 'Be Bold for Change' and participated in vigourous sports activities including Rassa-kassi (tug of war), spoon race and balloon games - held to give confidence to participants thus making it more interesting and to make them motivated for team work
Ambuja Cement Foundation places a huge focus on Women's empowerment and this vertical underpins all program areas of the Foundation.

Way Paved for Education

Chanda Ramgirwar of Hardona khurd village Chandrapur, bucked societal trends and family pressure when she sent her two daughters to study high school. She created community uproar when she sent them for College!

But the homemaker turned entrepreneur didn't care, and was committed to giving her girls the opportunity that she never had as a child.

"It created a lot of problems in the village for us all - but mum was adamant - we were to study," her 20-year old daughter Saima, a 2nd year student of Pharmacy at Gondwana University, Chandrapur, said.

However the challenges did not stop there.  Already operating the household on a meager income, Chanda had to find additional source of funds to pay for the education - creating her own business in household cleaning products to do so.

"I attended a Women's Federation event, organized by Ambuja Cement Foundation, which taught women ways in which they could start their own enterprises.  I started making cleaning products and things just grew from there." She said.

Today, her girls are flourishing, and now other women in the community have followed suit - sending their girls to Study.

"People can see the confidence and potential we have to earn - now they want the same for their daughters." Chanda said.

Even Chanda has grown, and now holds the position of Secretary of the Ekta Mahila Bachat Sangh - Chandrapur Women's Federation.