CSR ICON: Sudarshan Suchi, Passion for Rural Transformation

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India CSR News Network

MUMBAI: Sudarshan Suchi (50) is the program head at Reliance Foundation who has passion for rural transformation. He leads the Rural Transformation initiative of Reliance Foundation with formidable over 25 years of rich and hands on experience in the field of rural development.

This journey saw him engaged with some of the premier organisations in the sector – Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), National Tree Growers Coop Federation, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), IRMA, Reliance Life Sciences and now Reliance Foundation. He is a Philosophy graduate from St. Stephens college in Delhi and a Law Graduate from SP University.

Sudarshan Suchi CSR Reliance Foundation CSR in IndiaPresently Sudarshan not only heads as Mentor the Rural Transformation initiative of Reliance Foundation known as BIJ or Bharat India Jodo but is also credited with conceptualising and operationalising it. Perhaps one of the biggest ongoing direct interventions, it already is engaged intensively with over 50000 of the poorest households in around 500 remotest villages panning across 26 clusters in 12 States cross India, reaching the unreached.

The engagement involves supporting them in food and nutrition security and de-risking their livelihoods. It is a unique programme design which has been organising the community into their own institutions of Village Associations and Producer Companies to bring holistic, sustainable and self-reliant development through economic independence.

Prior to this he lead one of the largest initiatives in Jatropha Bio-diesel cultivation brining in over 100,000 hectares of wastelands under food and fuel cultivation involving over 150,000 farmers.

Sudarshan had a very productive stint in Andhra Pradesh as State Director of NDDB bringing in all major Dairy Coops under MACS Act, reviving Coop Dairy Sector by turning around potentially sick units like Krishna, Ongole Dairy, Kurnool Nalgonda Rangareddy,  Karimnagar, taking Sangam (Guntur) and Vishakah Dairy’s to newer heights, launching Mother Dairy at Hyderabad, and as a first ever getting two new Women’s Dairy initiatives -Mulukanoor, and Indur Intideepam started in virgin areas of Warangal and Nizamabad. All in all an existing liability of over 400 Crores into a positive.

Sudarshan Suchi sharing experience on CSR and vision of Reliance Foundation on Rural Transformation at India CSR Awards held in Bangalore on 27 August, 2016.
Sudarshan Suchi sharing experience on CSR and vision of Reliance Foundation on Rural Transformation at India CSR Awards held in Bangalore on 27 August, 2016.

He represented the NDDB at various Dairy Coop Boards and with the State Government on policy issues. Prior to this in his stint as the Secretary Cooperative Initiative Panel (CIP) working on advocacy with doyens like
Dr. Kurien, Shri LC Jain (Former Planning Commission Member and Reknowned Gandhian Economist and founder of Super Bazaar in New Delhi) and Shri Mohan Dharia (Former Union Minister and Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission). Major milestones accomplished were the enactment of MACS Act in 7 States and at the Centre including a pioneering new law for Producers Company.

Sudarshan was also associated with many government committees including the Punjab State Coop Reform Committee etc. and also taught Legal Environment and Public Advocacy at IRMA. At the NDDB he was associated with developing and running training programmes for Dairy Cooperative professionals and leaders. Sudarshan is also a part time farmer, obsessed in working on a wasteland to experience hands on the possible challenges and sustainable solutions to marginal farming in interior Madhya Pradesh.

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