Reservations: Dilemmas Galore: Heated debate has been generated around women’s reservation bill (WRB) with both sides having their inflexible positions. On one side there are those .....Read Full
Mumbai HC dismisses Malegaon blast accused plea seeking fresh probe: Bombay High court today refused to order a fresh probe .....Read Full
Pune blast: ATS submits report, claims perpetrators identified: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday submitted its investigation report on the Pune blast .....Read Full
Maoists massacre 76 troopers, government fumes: India’s sweeping anti-Maoist offensive suffered a huge blow Tuesday when the Leftwing guerrillas ambushed and massacred ......Read Full
Apex court removes two Gujarat cops from riots probe panel: The Supreme Court Tuesday removed two senior Gujarat police officers from its special probe panel investigating ....Read Full
World’s tallest tower saves 3,200 KW daily: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, saves up to 3,200 KW of energy every day by tapping solar power to heat the 140,000 ....Read Full
Delhi HC snubs school for violating Right to Education Act: The Delhi High Court Monday directed a private school to take back its class VI student, whom they had expelled because she had failed in the exams.....Read Full
Ranganath Mishra report may be discussed in parliament: Amid political stalemate over introduction of the women's reservation bill in the Lok Sabha, the United ....Read Full
Shahi Imam meets PM on Batla House shootout: A top Muslim cleric Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the alleged fake shootout at the Batla .....Read Full
Keep us away from sadhvi: Malegaon accused: Apparently not happy with the media spotlight on sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, nine of the 11 co-accused ....Read Full
Govt. committed to quota for 'backward Muslims':Government on Wednesday said it is committed to providing reservation to the backward sections .....Read Full
2011 population census begins April 1:One of the largest census exercises, to compile India’s estimated 1.2 billion people into one single database .....Read Full
Problems and Prospects of Islamic Banking in India – Road Map ahead: Modern, secular and industrialized countries like Britain, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan have become hub of .....Read Full
Will Dawood's facing law be a favour? Congress asks BJP:The Congress Tuesday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for lauding Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's appearance before the Special Investigation Team .....Read Full
Bharti-Walmart 'push' changes face of Punjab village
Thursday, April 08, 2010 04:26:15 PM, Alkesh Sharma, IANS
Malerkotla (Punjab): Haider Nagar in Sangrur district was an economically backward, little known village until the other day. Today it takes pride in higher crop yield, better sanitation and energy-efficient solutions. A community programme, launched by Bharti-Walmart India, the wholesale retail venture between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores of the US, has changed the face of the predominantly Muslim village.
Called "sustainable agricultural programme", it has increased the yield, enhanced the quality of farm produce and managed higher price-realisation for the village's small and marginal farmers, says the company.
"We believe that every system works like a fly-wheel where we just need to give an initial push. Thereafter, it automatically gains momentum and starts yielding positive results. Here, we have also imparted that initial push," Raj Jain, managing director and chief executive of the venture, told IANS.
Part of Bharti-Walmart's plan to provide quality fresh produce to retail stores through an efficient supply chain management, the programme provides closed loop sanitation and energy-efficient solutions through modern toilets and bio-gas plants.
Haider Nagar now flaunts 80 toilets with a proper sewerage system. Posters carrying messages to improve hygiene are displayed in the narrow lanes of this village.
There was no proper waste management system in the area. More than 50 percent of the household garbage used to be dumped either in empty plots or on the road. Now 20 community dustbins have been installed from where the waste will be directly taken to the biogas plants.
The company has installed seven bio-gas plants and aims to establish 175 more by the year-end. "The biogas plant will help to conserve gas energy and utilize the waste generated from cattle and toilets. It would also help to maintain the environment cleaner and healthier," said Jain.
Bharti-Walmart has also started a health and education programme. Jain said when they started working in this village, most of the girls did not go to school.
"Today, all the non-school going children have been given the basic education required to mainstream them in government schools," he said.
And to facilitate all this, six self-help groups have been formed which serve as an effective interface between the local community and the company.
"We have also ensured effective participation of the community to bring about a sense of responsibility among the people, thus ensuring future maintenance. People are encouraged to participate in different ways like in some cases they are providing monitory contribution or labour or construction material," he said.
Villagers are also quite upbeat about the project.
"We are happy. Now we have toilets in our own courtyard. I could not even think about this a few months ago," said Asifa Noor, a mother of three.
There are 224 households in Haider Nagar. Before the start of this project only 50 percent households had toilets.
"Open defecation is a major problem in our village. Although there is a scheme of the central government to provide pucca toilets, our village had not been covered under this project till date," said Faizal Mohammed, a former sarpanch (village headman).
"We want to bring changes in the village at a broader level," Jain said.
The company hopes to replicate the development model in other villages.
Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment on this article
Ummid.com is part of Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and condition mentioned.