Rural scheme collects ₹41.7 cr. from firms


Village Social Transformation Foundation aims to double farm income

Mumbai: Nearly a year after it was announced, a village transformation programme, aided by leading industrialists and the State government, has successfully put together nearly 178 Development Plans (DP) and accumulated ₹41.7 crore in funds from corporates. The Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) is supported by 10 industrial houses: Mahindra Group, Reliance Foundation, Tata Trusts, JSW Foundation, Swedes Foundation, Hindustan Unilever, Syska LED, HT Parekh and Axis Bank.

The scheme, launched on October 2 last year, promises to transform 1,000 villages in the State by enhancing development indicators like drinking water access, infant mortality, education index, agriculture income to match the highest national levels. It seeks to bring about widescale behavioural change to empower villages through self-sustainable development. Based on the results, a development model scalable across the State will be made by 2019, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said while announcing the programme.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) claims 300 grants of ₹4 lakh each have been given to villages, and 150 training programmes have been organised for the gram parivartak, a group of engineers and MBA degree holders hired to connect villages to VSTF. Corporates involved have already committed to another ₹93.21 crore over the next two years, and the government will match this contribution.

The scheme is also being used to meet the government objective of doubling farm income with an eye on the increase in farmer suicides. The government will spend ₹1 crore each on 200 farming groups in 2018. “These will be a collaboration of farmers and will seek to improve the quality of produce. They will be linked to markets,” government officers said.

With help from government schemes, VSTF is expected to support 16,884 families and households residing in kutcha homes, pull 15,854 families out of poverty and double farm incomes. Officers said when fully implemented, 16,598 households will get access to clean water and 9,268 will get toilets.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:52:08 PM |

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