Coimbatore: United Way Bengaluru (UWBe), in strategic alliance with Alstom, continues to champion the ‘Rural Rising’ initiative with its latest intervention in Sultanpet Block, Coimbatore. This collaborative effort underscores a shared vision to elevate the quality of life in Appanaickenpatti and Selakarachal Gram Panchayats.
Anchored in the principles of advancing education, healthcare, livelihood, and environmental sustainability, the ‘Rural Rising’ programme celebrated its third year of implementation, while also showcasing significant achievements and milestones unveiled during the inauguration event held in October 2023. The event was attended by Shri Kandhaswami, MLA of the Sulur Constituency; Shri Vijaya Kumar, Block Development Officer of Sultanpet; Shri Francis, Assistant Educational Officer; Smt. S. Salma, Child Development Project Officer of Sultanpet; Smt. Maragathavadivu Karuppaswami, and Smt. Santhi Rajendran, Panchayat Presidents representing Appanaickenpatti and Selakarichal respectively. Additionally, Smt. Renuga, School Headmaster, along with Shri S Selvakumar, Site Managing Director at Alstom Transport, and Shri Sriram Ananthanarayanan, Director, Projects, at United Way Bengaluru.
Commenting on the initiative and its impact, Olivier Loison, Managing Director, Alstom India, said, “Alstom’s CSR initiatives in India are strategically designed to drive long-term impact in the lives of people and communities. Our consistent engagement with United Way Bengaluru for its Rural Rising programme enables us to deliver on our commitment centred around education, health and hygiene. It is also a matter of pride for us that we will be able to deliver strategic impact in gram panchayats, touching the lives of 8380 beneficiaries of Coimbatore which is one of our strong manufacturing hubs in India.”
Rajesh Krishnan, CEO, United Way Bengaluru, said, “One aspect that particularly stands out is the collaborative nature of the Rural Rising flagship programme. By working closely with local authorities and engaging community members in meaningful ways, the programme ensures that the voices and aspirations of the people on the ground are heard and integrated into the community development process. This participatory approach not only identifies the major issues and priorities of each area but also helps to design the implementation plan that aligns with the specific needs of the community.”
Aligned with Alstom’s commitment to positively impact communities in the area of education and environment, several key interventions have been implemented under the Rural Rising programme.
Eight Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) have been strengthened with enhanced services, facilities, and improved infrastructure to provide a safer and more conducive environment for children.
Additionally, capacity-building initiatives for Anganwadi workers and helpers, mobilisation of mothers’ groups, and the promotion of nutrition gardens were undertaken, which have further enriched these AWCs. The programme’s scope also extends to improving the health and sanitation standards within the community.
This includes strengthening a block Primary Health Centre (PHC) with state-of-the-art equipment, constructing toilets at the Panchayat Union Public School in Appanaickenpatti, setting up a solid waste management system by providing a door-to-door waste collection vehicle and community awareness initiatives. Installing a 2000 LPH Water ATM at Selakarachal village ensures access to safe drinking water.
Recognising the significance of a healthy environment, 125 solar streetlights were installed to promote sustainable energy practices across the two Gram Panchayats. Soil and water conservation activities, such as lift irrigation, have been initiated, benefiting community members, especially children, women, and farmers. Furthermore, ‘Rural Rising’ extends support to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Selakarachal, which includes the establishment of shops, distribution of aids, computer access, and mobility solutions.
The event also marked the commencement of other transformative initiatives in Appanaickenpatti, including the setting up of one digital classroom and one library. Additionally, the construction in a new school kitchen, refurbishment of an existing school kitchen, and installation of 20 solar streetlights were officially kickstarted. In Selakarachal, a vocational skill training intervention for youth development and rejuvenation of a lake was also kickstarted.