TVS Motor’s CSR arm to accelerate water conservation initiatives in rural India

Since 2017, Srinivasan Services Trust has undertaken 350 desilting projects, helping increase water storage by 160 crore litres; verdant 50-acre Hosur plant site becomes colony for painted storks.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 22 Mar 2023 Views icon6314 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Today – March 22 – is World Water Day. Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton, has pledged to amplify and accelerate its commitment towards water conservation in rural communities.

Over the past six years, Srinivasan Services Trust has invested over Rs 21 crore in water conservation efforts across villages in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. It has undertaken over 350 desilting projects including desilting of tanks and irrigation channels, helping increase the water storage availability by 160 crore litres (57 million cubic feet). Additionally, with active participation by the local communities and through their association with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), SST has implemented programmes in Javadhu Hills in the Tiruvannamalai and Tirupathur districts and Thally in Krishnagiri district in which 19 check dams and 120 farm ponds have been created. 

Since 2017, SST has undertaken over 350 desilting projects including desilting of tanks and irrigation channels, helping increase water storage availability by 160 crore litres. This is the check dam in Mandapam village (Kamandala River) in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvannamalai District.

In partnership with other organisations, SST has also implemented watershed programs in Tirunelveli and Tiruvannamalai districts of Tamil Nadu. SST has also desilted seven water bodies in Krishnagiri district inside the forests, with the support of the government, which has in turn increased water availability for wild animals. SST plans to invest an additional Rs 10 crore in the next three years for water conservation initiatives.

Commenting on the effort at water conservation, Swaran Singh IAS (R), chairman of Srinivasan Services Trust, “SST's commitment to serve rural communities is driven by one vision – ‘To make rural India self-sustainable and empowered’. This additional investment in water conservation is a step closer to that vision. SST will continue to identify locations and implement programs using scientific methods to help with the sustainable management of water resources. We believe this initiative will enable the organisation to make a significant impact on the lives of the communities it serves.”

Through these initiatives, SST has not only restored the original capacity of the tanks but also increased groundwater levels in surrounding villages, preventing flooding and improving the socio-economic status of the community in these areas. With this additional water availability, farmers can increase the number of crops cultivated in a year and increase the area under cultivation.

The 50-acre forest at TVS' Hosur factory has over the past two decades become one of the largest breeding colonies for painted storks.

Migratory birds flock to TVS’ Hosur factory 

TVS Motor Co's’ efforts at water and biodiversity conservation have borne fruit in another manner: avian visitors.

The 50-acre forest at the company’s Hosur factory in Tamil Nadu is a verdant bio-scape housing thousands of trees, a bird sanctuary, butterfly garden, botanical park, organic compost centre and 18 ponds. Over the past 22 years, the sanctuary has become one of the largest breeding colonies for painted storks. All this whilst a variety of two-wheelers roll out of the manufacturing plant at a fair distance. 

A recent bird census conducted by the Hosur Forest Division on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department in the Krishnagiri district has identified more than 100 species of birds in 15 water bodies with the help of volunteers from the Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS).

Doing its bit for town and country

The Srinivasan Services Trust started working in villages from the mid-1990s. Starting with a model of philanthropy, it matured into a model centered on community participation in all its projects. Today, SST works in around 2,500 villages in the country with 2,000 villages in Tamil Nadu. It follows a holistic and participatory approach of village development, working very closely with the community and the government.

SST’s focus is to bring about sustainable development in villages through total community involvement. Society building through development of women and children, conservation of water, providing holistic health and education infrastructure by renovating the government infrastructure and preserving the environment are its main focus areas.

TVS Motor Co’s social arm works towards economic development of the community by helping them to set up microenterprises and supporting them to improve agriculture and livestock income. SST nudge communities to embrace practises towards better quality of life by ensuring a participatory approach right from planning to execution of activities. SST’s long-term goal is to create robust communities, through a strong bonding and a sense of ownership among community propelling sustained growth of the villages.

ALSO READ: Renault Nissan India to revitalise 10 water bodies in Tamil Nadu’s Oragadam

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