Straight from the heart

Supporting sustainable development, DCM Shriram Foundation is zealously driving progressive initiatives for the benefit of underserved communities

Joyful childhood at Udbhav School, Hyderabad

The philanthropic legacy of DCM Shriram Foundation stems from Sir Shri Ram (1884-1963), founder of DCM group. The Samaritan industrialist worked for the good of the society straight from the heart and DCM Shriram too, following his footsteps remains committed to inclusive growth.

The CSR interventions, under the DCM Shriram Foundation umbrella, are implemented seamlessly, taking an integrated approach for holistic development. Ajay S Shriram, Chairman & Sr Managing Director and Vikram S Shriram, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, share their vision: “As part of DCM Shriram Foundation’s strategy and vision going forward, we aspire to have a deeper impact on people we engage with by making the communities more resilient and self-confident. Our focus is on two aspects: promoting economic empowerment of farmers in India with emphasis on water conservation and addressing community needs through all-round development for a measurable improvement in quality of life. We believe that the holistic nature of the DCM Shriram Foundation’s vision provides social mobility to communities we support, and brings about a permanent improvement in their wellbeing.”

The core of the work being on creating impact on the lives of people, the focus areas are livelihood, healthcare, sanitation, environment and education. The primary focus of the interventions is on communities around its manufacturing units in the geographies of Hardoi & Lakhimpur districts of UP, Kota district in Rajasthan and Bharuch district in Gujarat.

DCM Shriram Foundation’s Flagship program “Jeetega Kisaan” focuses on the confluence of Water Conservation and Agri- Skilling

The second program, layered on it is an Agri-skilling and Livelihood program called Jeetega Kisaan. This program strives to achieve the targets of SGD2 – Zero Hunger. It aims to help small & marginal farmers increase their productivity and income by providing them training on better package of practices. High Value Crops including Vegetables, Fruits and other medicinal Crops have been introduced to their crop cycles to help increase the annual income of the farmers with a focus on sustainable farming practices. The program started with creating FIG’s (Farmer Interest Groups) followed by creation of FPOs to help the farmers in both backwards and forward integration. Starting with In-put shop run by the FPO for better availability and pricing, also working towards helping farmers create market linkages for their crops and giving them access to last mile delivery. This program takes an integrated route for improving yield and crops.

In 2017, the program was designed as a partnership model wherein multiple organizations were roped in to collaborate with the CSR and the business teams of the company to bring in their respective core competencies. The major focus of the program is to work towards propagating good agriculture practices along with demand and supply side water management measures.

Brijmohan Meena of Neenkhedi village, Kota district, is happy and satisfied with the new ways of farming. “This new method has improved my yield. I was earlier farming in a random way without taking into account the amount of chemical fertilizers. I have been given knowledge of NPK fertilizers. And after the training, I realised that I was using too much fertilizer. Following the SRI method while sowing and keeping the right distance between seeds, has also improved the production. In the old method, seeds were getting wasted. Like me, other farmers too were wasting the seeds, not sowing properly and thus the results were not good. We only used to plant soyabean earlier, but now we are also farming pulses and grains. With this additional income, I can now invest on one more tractor,” he shares.

Over the last 3 years, the increased water storage capacity of 6.4 Lac cubic metre and improved farming practices have benefitted 12,650 people living in 23 villages. Improved agronomic practices, better quality, appropriate quantity of agri inputs, water management and better linkage to markets have together delivered holistic socio-economic growth. The water availability improved along with rise in the water table, recharging of borewells, hand-pumps etc enabling farmers to cultivate 2/ 3 crops in a year as against single crop cultivation before intervention. Recharge of more than 100 wells across 23 villages through construction of Anicuts, MST and pond renovation.

The replication of Agri Skilling program – Jeetega Kisaan was undertaken at Kota by expanding the coverage through increasing the number of villages to 18 more villages in 2019. Recently an FPO has been formed in Kota as part of Jeetega Kisaan Program to help farmers on both the input and output side.

In 2021, a partnership was forged with Tarun Bharat Sangh as an implementation partner with an objective to create a holistic and community-driven integrated watershed management program. Renovation of 13 Rain water harvesting structures will be implemented in 7 villages of Ladpura District creating water security for approximately 5000 people. This would create an additional surface water capacity of estimated 1.8 billion (180 crore) litres every year which would be renovated for rainwater conservation and domestic purposes.

Desu is one of the remote, water-scarce villages in Kota district. Here, a water reservoir has been rejuvenated, eliminating woes of the entire community. “Where there is water, there is everything. Now, the animals have water. The women don’t have to walk for kilometres to fill their pots and household needs. Earlier, we had to go to small wells to fetch water for our livestock. It was a difficult exercise as we had to carry 10-15 water pots. It will also help us with farming and make the soil fertile,” says farmer Jagdish from Mohanpura village, Kota district.

A Sustainable Paddy/Wheat Program under Jeetega Kisaan program was launched in 2021 for 2000 farmers in 46 villages of Chopan & Robersganj block of Sonbhadra District of Uttar Pradesh with IFC & IRRI as the knowledge partners and ISAP as the implementation partners.

 Children relish the mid-day meal.

Integrated Development Model: Promoting Holistic Growth under “Khushali Program” Umbrella
Health and Sanitation

Program on Preventive Healthcare and Sanitation – Khushali Sehat and Khushali Swacchata programs of DCM Shriram Foundation is aligned with SDG-3 of Good Health and well being.

DCM Shriram Foundation has a holistic approach to healthcare. The ‘Mother & Child’ programme aims to provide pre- and post-natal care in various parts of Hariawan and Lakhimpur kheri districts of UP and in Kota district of Rajasthan. The overall objective of the preventive healthcare programme, is to reduce the MMR and IMR in the adopted villages of UP and Rajasthan.

The Company has a cadre of Sehat Saathi’s - Village Level Workers (VLW) who are deployed in the adopted villages. These VLWs work in collaboration with ASHA and ANMs and mobilize pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescents. The aim is to lower IMR and MMR through focus on immunization, combating malnutrition, menstrual health management and promoting institutional deliveries. Creating demand within community for Govt. health services and strengthening the supply side of Govt. health facility is the essence of the healthcare program.

Sapna is very grateful for these sessions and check-ups. At 28, she is pregnant for the third time. She can’t forget the first two difficult pregnancies. “I didn’t know about the right diet, the use of blood and BP tests, need for vitamins and calcium tablets,” she says.

For better community outreach, a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) travels across 45 Gram Panchayats covering Hariawan Block in UP. This MMU is equipped with all the latest medical facilities. This air-conditioned MMU has brought about a massive change, according to Dr. Rajeev Ranjan, who is working in the CHC of Hariawan, district Hardoi. “Women don't come to the hospital for regular check-ups as they find it far from their homes. It is a rough road and they are subjected to jerks during this delicate time. Now, with this MMU, the medical help is at their doorstep," he says. The Foundation has also renovated the labour room at this CHC. He says that the MMU has brought about a change with less cases of anemia coming to the hospital. Infant Mortality Rate has also come down. With health data of the patients, the doctor can guide the ASHA workers better on how to take care of the mother and child.

The MMU travels with a female gynecologist, nurse, pharmacist, equipment for Ante/ Post-Natal check up and some tests which are being conducted for diagnosis of high risk pregnancies. The van is also equipped with audio-visual aids and short educational movies on healthcare which are aired while patients wait for their turn. With the provision of these vans, the rural women are now getting access to city-level health facilities.

“Women here don’t understand the importance of blood tests, sonography. Most pregnancies are not the first time, so there is no concept of family planning as well. We offer them free calcium and iron medicines. We handhold these mothers right up to six months after childbirth. We even facilitate their smooth deliveries at the government hospitals; cite the benefits of institutional delivery. For post-natal care, we help with vaccination and also create awareness around infant nutrition and feeding,” says Dr. Chandni Agnihotri, MMU medical officer. She feels that women relate to her better as she is a native and speaks the same dialect too at times.

In addition, the Sehat Saathi’s (VLWs) hold nutrition awareness camps for the mother and child. The Foundation has also identified malnourished children in the adopted villages and provides them with POSHAN kits on a monthly basis and monitors their progress.

Anuradha from Heerapur village, Uttar Pradesh, is a first-time mother-to-be and had low haemoglobin in the first trimester of her pregnancy. “The first three months of my pregnancy were difficult as I wasn’t aware about a nutrition-based diet. Now, I eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and grains. After following didi’s instructions, my haemoglobin is somewhere around 9 and I don’t feel dizzy anymore,” she says.

Menstrual Health Management (MHM) is an important aspect of Khushali Sehat. It is being implemented across districts of Hardoi and Lakhimpur Kheri in UP and in Kota district of Rajasthan. The Sehat Saathi’s (VLWs) create primary level awareness around sanitation and safety during the menstruation days. They also teach the women on how to make a reusable cotton sanitary pad and tell them the benefits of this pad. Kavita Verma from Hariawan district appeared for Class X board exams. She has been attending these menstrual talks regularly along with a group of young girls. “I got to learn about hygiene and cleanliness during periods. I can now make my own pads as didi taught us the techniques. First, we keep a layer of cotton and then layer it with a fabric, and it can be stitched. We have also learnt how to dispose it off in a pot that we usually decorate and paint so that it should not look dirty. The pads available in the market are a bit expensive, creating my own pads make me feel confident. Now we don’t use any polyester fabrics for pads as those used to give us rashes. It used to be difficult as we could not share this problem with others and could never tell our parents that we needed medical help,” she says.

Khushboo sensitizes the community. She tells them about ‘rituchakra’ or the menstrual cycle. “The girls are shy and don’t even talk to their mothers about periods, initially we guide them on adapting to their body’s hygiene and also how to take care of themselves during periods. We also guide them on the diet and remove the social stigma attached to menstruation,” she says. Over time, she has seen a change. The girls are no longer shy and they learn to accept this as a regular phenomenon. So far, over 40,000+ women and 20,000+ adolescent girls have been trained on menstrual hygiene through various awareness sessions in Kota, Hardoi and Lakhimpur Kheri. Preventive healthcare program is also layered on the Sanitation program which is known as Khushali Swachhata. The Sanitation activities are given a boost through awareness activities in the Govt. schools by construction of separate toilet blocks for Girls and Boys. Awareness activities include sensitizing the entire community on behaviour change, cleanliness of the surroundings along with good personal hygiene. The Foundation has also been promoting the use of compost by helping farmers produce their own compost.

The community at large is taught about solid waste management, the harm caused by plastic, importance of handwash and using toilets. There are special sessions for school children too on personal hygeine and keeping the toilets clean. Till now, 1.5 lac plus community members have been sensitized via awareness related activities in Kota, Hardoi and Lakhimpur Kheri.

Children relish the mid-day meal;


Skill building is the backbone of good livelihood leading to an empowered life in all ways. Under the Khushali Rozgaar umbrella, the Foundation works with communities of Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Kota and Bharuch districts. It skills farmers on good agricultural practices, livestock development, women on how to be financially independent and add to the family income, support rural artisans through teaching them the art of Zardozi and rural youth on how to be self-reliant and become change agents for a larger good.

Silai School The classroom of Loni stitching centre is full of laughter and the clang of sewing machines. Women are busy stitching new clothes. Their teacher moves from table to table, helping them. The centre spells hope for rural women, skilling them for a new financially independent life. At this centre, they learn all about stitching, tailoring, the latest fashion, and even how to make clothes for their children.
Arti Devi from Loni village is upbeat that she can now stitch trendy clothes. “I get orders for blouses, suits, frocks for children. I have bought a second machine and am earning better. I can manage my household expenses in a better manner,” she says. Like her, Preeti Devi is also dreaming of a better life.

Project Zardozi Recognizing the artisans in the clusters of Hardoi and Lakhimpur Kheri in UP, the Foundation launched Project Zar-Dozi which is a livelihood sustenance program striving to develop entrepreneurship qualities in rural artisans, promoting craft and guide them adequately to engage themselves in productive enterprises through formation of SHGs. Bushra Khan from Shahabad is a trainer under Project Zar-Dozi at the Loni Silai School. She sensitizes women on the benefits of being a part of Project Zar-Dozi, mobilizing community meets and forming clusters for the interested ones. Under the project, the village women are encouraged to learn this new skill to augment their income. For some, it’s a completely new beginning.

Embellished with gold and silver-coloured threads and beads, Zardozi embroidery has a better market value. “Most of the women in the region are adept at chikankari work, but that does not help them earn good money. A chikankari piece can bring in Rs 50, but the same zardozi piece can help them earn Rs 250-450. I conduct adda meetings with the village women and share the details of this programme. I am a diploma holder in embroidery and I train the women.” Around 34 women are engaged in this project in from three villages of Loni in UP.

The women meet in clusters closer to their home for these trainings. DCM Shriram Foundation has partnered with Mon Ami Foundation for providing technical training and help link these women with market linkages. These women are given all the materials such as threads, frames, clothes, during this training period. These women have already started earning Rs. 500 – Rs. 800 a month basis the orders they receive through market linkages. The Foundation plans to enroll two trainers in Shardha University to induct them with Entrepreneurial and Management skills. Once these women get fully trained they will be trained to promote the products in various handicraft bazaars.

Kaushal Vikas Kendra Skilling the youth leads to an empowered society, as they contribute to nation building. Addressing the needs of the youth around the company’s areas of operations, DCM Shriram Foundation runs three major skilling programmes. These are digital literacy, mobile repair and laptop and computer repair. The skills prepare the young ones for jobs as well as put them on the path of becoming micro entrepreneurs.

Khushali Shiksha Education maketh a man, goes the old adage. And through Khushali Shiksha, the Foundation is changing the lives of many children by opening doors of opportunity for them. To promote collaborative learning, inculcate critical thinking and problem solving, the Foundation has given digital devices such as tablets for children studying in class I-VI. The focus is not just on age-and-grade-appropriate learning in curricular subjects such as language, science and mathematics; it is also on leveraging skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaborative learning and the use of technology to promote learning with its partner Pratham Education Foundation.

 Innovative projects at Agastya Lab

Livestock Development Program- (Artificial Insemination)

In collaboration with BAIF, DCM Shriram Foundation has been raising awareness about the benefits of artificial insemination (AI) to small farmers in 19 villages of Jhagadia block of Bharuch district in Gujarat. A Cattle Development Centre has been set up with a technical expert who administers the Artificial and Sorted insemination for the cattle based on the calls received from the farmers. He also undertakes awareness sessions; the farmers learn how a better breed can help them augment their income streams. Demo plots for Green fodder are setup for cattle and regular vaccination is provided through Cattle health camps.


Taking a 360° view of development in rural areas, the Foundation has collaborated with Haqdarshak for MSMEs and opened Yojana Kendras (YK) across villages of Hariawan block in UP. As the name suggests, Haqdarshak is someone who makes you aware of your rights, in this case information is provided about various available Government schemes. The infrastructure for the digital YK is provided by the Foundation. They have all the necessary tools such as computer and printing machine.

Through the YK, the rural population becomes aware of the many government schemes that are designed for the benefit of the marginalized communities. The Haqdarshaks go from door-to-door helping the old, the infirm and the unaware. Shashikant Dikshit, who manages a YK from Hariawan block, helps farmers by offering digital linkage services at their villages. “We conduct campaigns in villages to sensitize the farmers about various government schemes. To give an example, in the PM-Kisaan Samman Nidhi Yojana, each farmer gets Rs 2,000 per month as an installment from the government. We help them with the paperwork, preparing their documents, filling up the forms, linking their respective documents like PAN card or Aadhar card. This helps them in collecting the cash from our centre rather than going to any distant bank and get the service sitting at home," he shares.

YK has proven to be a boon for many. Kishan Kumar, a farmer from Kota district, is availing the cash facility under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana and also buying corn seeds or natural fertilizers at much reasonable rates than the market. “This centre sells corn seeds for Rs 160 per kg, and the same is priced at Rs 210 per kg in the market. I prefer buying from the centre,” he says. In 2021, benefits worth Rs. 1.5 cr was unlocked for 900 farmers in Kota through this programme.

DCM Shriram Foundation’s ethos of giving to the society is deeply embedded throughout the company. Under the ‘We Volunteer’ employee engagement programme, the Foundation runs many initiatives. People can mentor, sponsor something for the underprivileged or volunteer their services for any social impact program. For instance, the Foundation ran a campaign to sponsor solar lanterns for children as villages face power shortages. These helped the children with their late-night studies and also movement in the dark.

The journey of an inclusive society with sustainable measures is a long one. And DCM Shriram Foundation continues to touch hearts and change lives at every step.

1.. In keeping with its belief that "Every Drop Counts", in 2017, this project was triggered by a desire to address the water scarcity and weak socio-economic conditions of the adopted villages
2.. The aim is to lower IMR and MMR through focus on Immunization, combating malnutrition, menstrual health management and promoting institutional deliveries
3.. Community at large is taught about solid waste management, the harm caused by plastic, importance of handwash and using toilets
4.. A good skill set is the backbone of good livelihood. Under the Khushali Rozgar umbrella, DCM Shriram Foundation skills farmers, women and youth to make them self-reliant
5.. For holistic learning, the focus is on leveraging skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaborative learning and the use of technology