MUMBAI: When ACF’s journey began back in 1993, the path was still vague but the goal was very clear Enable communities to prosper as the business prospers. This clarity of goal became the guiding light as ACF discovered its way to success and carved out its growth tangent expanding from one location to 21 locations across India.
As ACF enters its 25th year, it is incredible to look back at its journey and milestones. From a humble beginning in 15 villages, today we have reached out to over 950 villages and a population of more than 1.8 million. All this has been a result of unwavering faith and endless support from the Company’s management and relentless efforts of ACF’s team of development professionals. Since 1993, ACF has been striving to achieve its vision to create a sustainable, prosperous society, built on long-term partnerships.
To quote Ms Pearl Tiwari, Head-Ambuja Cement Foundation, “ACF’s birth is a result of the visionary management of Ambuja Cements Limited. Our Company’s Founders always gave due importance to societal development (along with financial and environmental development) and considered it a crucial pillar of business sustainability. Ambuja has nurtured ACF as its CSR arm, but at the same time the Company has also given it a status of separate entity – exclusively focused on community development and with its own specialised team of development professionals. CSR is today fast becoming a part of corporate strategy, however, at ACL it was conceived and evolved more than 30 years ago.”
With its focus on creating rural prosperity, ACF has strategically chosen to work in five thrust areas:
- Water Resource Management
- Livelihoods – agro- and skill-based
- Women Empowerment
By working on the abovementioned thrust areas, ACF is contributing towards the global agenda of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) – some of which are no poverty, good health and well-being, gender equality and clean water and sanitation.
Over the years, ACF has evolved as a reputable organisation. Following are the major milestones:
|1993||Established and formal commencement in 15 villages in Kodinar, Gujarat with water resource management.|
|1997||Started agro-based livelihood program|
|2006||Launch first SEDI centre in Jaitaran, Rajasthan|
|2009||Launched Better Cotton Initiative|
|2013||Set up ACF’s Program Research and Monitoring Unit|
|2016||Elected as member of Better Cotton Initiative’s Global council|
ACF’s major impacts
|Water Resource Management||Spent over Rs 1.38 billion to create a water storage capacity of 53.73 million cubic meters
A study conducted on social return on investment (SROI) revealed 13x returns in Kodinar (Gujarat) and 5x returns in Rabriyawas (Rajasthan).
Helped ACL achieve 4 times positivity as certified by DNV in 2014.
|Agro-based Livelihood||Reached out to more than 100,000 farmers across locations.
Better Cotton Initiative that started with 2500 farmers in 2009, has grown nearly 18 times in farmers’ outreach in 7 years.
In 2016, reported 22% increase in the income of cotton farmers
23 Pashu Swasthya Sevikas (PSS) – women para vets trained by ACF to provide basic animal healthcare in villages.
13 Farmer Producer Organisations formed.
|Skill-based Livelihood||Over 30,000 rural youth trained in various vocations. 74% of them were successfully placed.
From one SEDI centre in 2006 to 17 centres in 2016 across India.
More than 2900 new businesses started by SEDI graduates.
|Health||Trained 352 Sakhis, reaching out to over 10,000 mothers and newborns through our maternal and child healthcare service.
73 villages with 100% toilet coverage.
Converted 5 villages and 46 schools tobacco-free.
|Women Empowerment||1681 SHGs with over 18,000 women members and a corpus of Rs 77 million.
11 women organisations across locations.
|Education||Supported over 200 schools and anganwadis.
Rehabilitated nearly 50 special children at Ambuja Manovikas Kendra (AMK).
AMK students have represented India in the last five World Special Olympic Games and have won 13 medals.
Recently, ACF has aligned itself with the newly introduced CRISP values which incidentally resonate with our core philosophy of I Can. ACF has also taken steps to extend Company’s focus on safety and is making all efforts to imbibe the culture of safety in our communities. All our SEDI centres have safety element as an integral part of the curriculum.
However, the journey would not have been the same for ACF without its partners. We have invested in extensive partnerships with government, corporate and NGOs and our host community. These collaborations have helped ACF evolve as a thought leader in the industry and encourage enriching participation and knowledge sharing from several other like-minded organisations.
With a focus on strengthening communities for business sustainability, ACF, in coming times will aim to develop stronger and long-term partnerships for expanding its outreach and continue its efforts towards integrated development.