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Creating Self-Sufficient Communities : Swades Foundation

Since its founding in 2013 by Ronnie & Zarina Screwvala, the Swades Foundation has touched 748,000+ lives in Maharashtra's Raigad and Nashik districts by focusing on holistic community empowerment. Their initiatives stretch across health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, and economic development, designed to foster sustainable and self-sufficient rural communities.

founders of Swades Foundation

Core Areas of Impact : Swades Foundation

Water and Sanitation : Ensuring every household has access to potable water and toilets is one of their key initiatives. They implement projects to bring drinking water to homes, promote sanitation through household toilets, and support irrigation for agriculture. 

Energy : Their solar energy program powers homes, schools, and streets, improving safety and sustainability in rural areas. Swades Foundation’s Solar Conversion Schemes aim to replace electric pumps with solar pumps for drinking water schemes. They provide solar power-based electrical fencing systems, protecting crops from both domestic and wild animals.

Health and Nutrition : By training community health workers, known as 'Swades Mitras', Swades Foundation seeks to link villagers with public and private health services. Key programs include:

  • Pediatric Cardiac Care: Identifying and treating children with heart disorders.

  • Vision Care: Providing eye screenings and free treatments.

  • Anaemia Alleviation: Screening and treating anaemia in students.

  • Support for Children with Special Needs: Offering treatments for low vision and other conditions.

Economic development : These  initiatives aim to achieve an annual household income of at least ₹2 lakhs through diverse livelihoods. Programs include:

  • On-Farm: Enhancing irrigation, promoting high-value crops, and increasing productivity.

  • Off-Farm: Activities like dairy, goat rearing, and poultry to create sustainable income streams, focusing on women and marginalised communities.

  • Non-Farm: Skills training and job placement for youth, and supporting rural entrepreneurship.

  • Swadhin: Empowering rural women entrepreneurs by marketing premium, locally-sourced products.

Swades foundation supports rural farmers and entrepreneurs through partnerships with Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). Currently three FPC’s namely - Jaipal Singh Munda Adivasi FPC ltd. , Raigadcha Shetkari Raja FPC ltd. , Real Konkan FPC ltd. are facilitating loans to fund farmers who need credit at different stages of their value chain.

Swades has piloted loan products with Rang De tailored for agricultural enhancement and small-scale entrepreneurship:

  • Agricultural Loans help farmers invest in inputs, expecting an average net profit of Rs.60,000-80,000 within 4-5 months.

  • Water for Irrigation projects support the implementation of drip systems, significantly increasing yield.

  • Goat Rearing and Dairy initiatives provide existing farmers with opportunities to expand, promising returns between Rs.21,000-25,000 from goat sales and Rs.45,000-50,000 from dairy in a year.

Understanding the local context is crucial. Swades employs a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy that includes detailed background checks and on-site visits to ensure loan utilisation is as intended. 

With the help of Rang De, they are also aiming to conduct financial literacy programs in the community. This hands-on approach helps circumvent issues like informal loans and poor repayment habits prevalent in these areas.

The Swades Foundation's approach of building from the community level up, supported by a dedicated local team, ensures that interventions are both effective and sustainable.

As this partnership evolves, the focus will remain on scaling these initiatives, further integrating community feedback, and enhancing the financial and operational independence of local FPCs. This integrated approach is expected to not only improve agricultural yields and income but also foster a model of development that other regions can emulate.

For more detailed insights visit Swades Foundation.

Join us in fostering economic development and holistic growth in India's rural heartlands.

Visit Rang De to learn more and invest today.

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