COVID-19 update and our response


Swachhata Hi Seva

December 19, 2019

Since its invention, plastic has been seen by us as a necessary evil. It seems like something
that cannot be replaced, considering its convenience, cost efficiency and durability. The
evidence of our complete dependence on plastic can simply be verified by tracing our own
steps through the day. At any given hour, all we have to do is look around ourselves to see
how plastic has become a prominent part of our lives. From our shampoo bottles to our
grocery bags, plastic is used everywhere. So is it possible to imagine a world without
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) estimate from 2012, India produces
close to 26,000 tonnes of plastic a day. What makes this bad situation worse is the fact that
a little over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected. Single-use plastic is
one of the biggest challenges for the country as far as waste management is concerned.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), “Single-use plastics, often
also referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used for plastic packaging and include
items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.”
Recognizing the tremendous threat this poses to the ecological system of India, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Swachhata hi Sewa” campaign to end the use of
single-use plastic. The Prime Minister, in his address on the 73rd Independence Day – 15th
August 2019 urged the nation to make all possible efforts by all to make India free from
single-use plastic through a community mass mobilization.


In solidarity, HCL Samuday has implemented a week-long “Swachhata hi Sewa” campaign
from 23rd September to 1st October 2019. This campaign was undertaken with the following
1. Mass level awareness generation on the ban of single-use plastics
2. Knowledge dissemination regarding waste management
3. Shramdaan for swachhata
4. Collection of single-use plastics dumped in the intervention areas (164 Gram Panchayats)
The campaign strove to instil a sense of responsibility towards the environment across the
participating villages, creating a mass movement for adoption of alternatives to single-use
plastics and the collection & management of plastic waste through mass mobilization. HCL
Samuday’s initiative was able to strategically reach out to 1,00,000 rural households
across the three intervention blocks, i.e. Kachhauna, Kothawan, Behadar with a total of 492
hours of shramdaan. 1400 kgs of plastic waste were successfully collected from the target
areas. All of which was then disposed of through Umang Sunehra Kal Sewa Samiti and
Rosa Power Plant. All in all, the outcome of the campaign was a successful one.
The community participation led by HCL Samuday played a major role in the success of the
on-ground activations. It always comes down to the people. If the people of Hardoi did not
rally together to work towards responsible waste management, all campaign efforts would
have gone to waste. All the planning, awareness generation efforts and community
mobilization efforts through interpersonal communication and extracurricular activities were
able to bear fruit because the community is conscious and open to knowledge.
However, our progress does not end with one campaign. Like the people of Hardoi, we need
to work together as a community if we want to see long term positive changes. It is time we
take ownership of our roles in the effort to make India a plastic waste-free country. Together,
let’s take a stand for the sustainable development of our country. Being ecologically
conscious cannot be a whim for us. We must internalise these changes and work towards
reducing, reusing, and recycling single-use plastic.

Training and Extension

Agriculture is a dynamic sector that deals with specialized knowledge which is ever changing. HCL Samuday regularly makes associated farmers aware of latest developments through Training and Extension intervention. The farmers are empowered to address existing issues and mitigate and adapt for future challenges.

With the objective of bringing agriculture technologies at farmers’ doorstep by establishing a ‘Center of Excellence’ in Uttar Pradesh, HCL Samuday is setting up Center for Agriculture Technology Transfer (CATT) in Hardoi district. It shall act as a ‘single window’ / ‘one stop support system’ aligning various interventions of state department of Agriculture with HCL Foundation as an intermediary and farmers as end users in a learning, decision making and problem-solving exercise.

Nutrition Garden

Nutrition Garden is a low cost, scientific model of home garden organically producing a variety of nutritious vegetables and fruits throughout the year. The primary objective of promoting nutrition gardens is to make ½ kg of fresh vegetables available for daily consumption to rural households. Secondary objectives include reduction in daily expenditure of HHs and increase in the consumption of green vegetables for improved nutrition.

2,714 households have benefitted by adopting a Nutrition Garden.

Community Mobilization and Institution Building

Interventions aimed at mobilizing community and facilitating institution creation lend long-term sustainability to the efforts for agriculture development.

     a. Farmer Clubs

Farmer Clubs are formed with the objective of propagating the idea of collective, uniting farmers in groups which work for the benefit of their community. 199 such clubs established so far under this intervention are providing a platform for knowledge dissemination and better market linkages.

        b. Farmer Producer Organisation

HCL Foundation is the promoting agency of Hardoi Kisan Producer Company Limited (HKPCL), a Farmer Producer Organization constituted in 2017 to address challenges faced by farming community in the project area. Comprising of 2,350 shareholders and governed by an 11-member board of directors, HKPCL registered a turnover of ₹ 6.85 crores in last financial year (2019-20).

       c. Vegetable Aggregation Points

Ensuring market is a crucial part of vegetable supply chain. To facilitate better linkages with market, 7 vegetable aggregation points have been set up across 3 blocks and regular communication is made to enable farmers to choose and opt for most suitable option. Realising better prices for produce, 917 Tonnes of vegetables, worth ₹ 1.30 crores, got aggregated at these centres in 2019-20.

       d. Farm Mechanization

Through Farm Mechanization, focus is on increasing income of farmers by improving affordability and accessibility of machines for precision agriculture. It is aimed at reducing farmers’ cost of cultivation and easing farm operations. Carried out in an entrepreneurial model, thus far 3,249 farms have been supported with advanced agricultural machinery and development of 45 entrepreneurs has been facilitated.

Crop Diversification

Due to lack of awareness and perishable nature of produce, few farmers practice vegetable cultivation. Crop Diversification intervention aims to bring sustainable income enhancement by adoption of diversified crop practices. HCL Samuday is pushing this agenda and the concurrent efforts made have engaged 13,500+ farmers so far in vegetable production.


After successful response of vegetable cultivation, various add-ons in Crop Diversification have been introduced so that farmers having disparate needs may opt for most suitable cropping pattern. These include –

  • Nano Orchard- a small area of land ranging from 840–1680 sqm is devoted exclusively for cultivation of fruit crops like Guava, Papaya, Banana, Apple, Ber and Thai Lime (seedless) along with vegetables taken as intercrop. 425 farmers have successfully established Nano Orchards.
  • Floriculture - promoting flower cultivation, HCL Samuday is propagating better practices and solving farmers’ erstwhile problem of unavailability of good variety. Marigold cultivation is being promoted under floriculture in project area.
  • VASUNDRA -Village Action for Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resource and Demonstration of Resilient Agriculture (VASUNDRA) has been initiated to enhance productivity of degraded fallow lands having high pH value. Adopting scientific methods of land reclamation through cultivation of resilient crops like Lemon Grass and Palmarosa combined with PH resistant horticulture crops like Amla, Ber and Lemon, so far 140 acres of land has been reclaimed.

Traditional Crop Promotion

Traditional Crop Promotion intervention focuses on training and demonstration of traditional crop farmers (Maize, Paddy, Wheat, Urad etc.) and bringing them under Package of Practices (PoP) based production system to increase productivity and adopt better crop management practices.

HCL Samuday has worked to enhance productivity by adopting soil and nutrient management, land development and institutional building for effective market linkages. 26,000+ farmers are currently engaged through this intervention and have adopted better practices on their farm.