Nita Ambani’s Efforts towards Enhancing Rural Transformation in India

Founder and Chairperson, Nita Ambani, created Reliance Foundation (RF) in 2010 to expand the philanthropic activities carried out by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). The foundation has benefited over seven million lives throughout the country, by touching lives of individuals belonging to more than 10,500 urban areas and villages.

Rural Transformation Programs

The foundation’s efforts are comprehensive in terms of their initiatives that range from sports, healthcare, to rural upliftment. It aims to resolve some of India’s most crucial problems. The foundation believes that creating opportunities for marginalized communities will help India prosper. RF works with the locals in rural areas in order to enhance their lives by helping them earn their livelihood through fisheries, farms, agriculture, and other non-farm related work. The aim is to encourage self-sustainability by aiding them in increasing the value of their asset, utilizing local resources in an optimal manner, and thereby increasing their income.

Bharat India Jodo Initiative

The foundation’s Bharat India Jodo program is one of its most prominent initiatives and is commonly referred to as (RF BIJ). It is devised in order to assess and eliminate the developmental gap between the rural and urban sections of Indian society. This is done through the minimization of risk-farming, encouraging sustainable activities, and enabling small and marginal producers to rely on local resources.

RF BIJ has a three-pronged approach which mainly focuses on direct action, sustainable development, and a participatory approach. The program has a presence in 12 Indian states, having created more than 535 Village Associations (VA) and touching the lives of over 50,000 families. It has implemented a strong framework across the country right from Bharuch in Gujarat, Balangir in Orissa, Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, to Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand.

Selarpur, Surat

Selarpur in Surat is one of the villages that falls under the Netarang cluster. Reliance Foundation has established its presence in 24 agro-ecological zones in India, of which Netarang is one. Nita Ambani visited the village in order to shed light on RF’s long-term objectives and how it stands to benefit the farmers of Selarpur.

Reliance Foundation analyzed and selected 24 areas across Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. These areas fall under the poverty-stricken belts of the country and RF aims to reach out to the people there.

The Program

RF’s program in Selarpur is quite simple, it plans to address the problems of the community and help them increase their productivity. Mrs. Ambani explained how understanding the problems affecting these people is more important than just introducing new technology. Nita Ambani also interacted with the women of Selarpur to get acquainted with their farming experiences and troubles. She explained the long-term goals of RF BIJ and its work to help the marginal communities. She also elaborated on the self-sustaining model followed by RF BIJ which would allow them to become independent and self-reliant.Transformation in IndiTransformation in India

The foundation’s BIJ initiative has improved the lives of many across the country. More than 15,000 hectares of unproductive land have been rejuvenated with the help of sustainable farming practices. Additionally, marginal communities’ have also benefited from rainwater harvesting and the development of Reliance Nutritional Gardens.

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