SBI Foundation Celebrating World Environment Day: Uniting for a Sustainable Future

New Delhi (India), June 5:  As the world gears up to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5th, 2024, to advocate for environmental protection and sustainable practices. This year’s theme, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” underscores the urgent need for collective action to safeguard the environment for generations to come.

In the face of escalating environmental challenges such as climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity loss, World Environment Day serves as a powerful platform to raise awareness and inspire meaningful action. SBI Foundation, the CSR arm of the State Bank Group partnering with Akhil Bhartiya Graim Uthan Samiti (ABGUS) has made significant strides in restoring, watershed management, wastewater recycling, reuse and recharge securing a sustainable future for thousands of inhabitants under the SBI Gram Seva program in Nuh, Haryana which one of the most backward & aspirational districts through grassroots initiatives to address pressing environmental issues and promote sustainability.

Throughout the project area at Nuh, the SBI Gram Seva program’s diverse activities and events are conducted to mark the occasion. From tree planting campaigns, SBI’s Jan Van development drive, environment hygiene and clean-up drive to educational workshops and sustainability forums, communities are mobilized to make a positive impact on the environment. Additionally, digital initiatives and social media campaigns are also conducted to amplifying the message of environmental conservation, reaching thousands of people across the Nuh district.

In line with this year’s theme at Nuh district, the SBI Gram Seva program plans to encourage individuals to take simple yet impactful actions to reduce their environmental footprint. Whether it’s promoting and adopting eco-friendly habits, supporting sustainable businesses, or advocating for stronger environmental initiatives, every effort counts towards building a greener, more resilient world. As we at Gram Seva – ABGUS celebrate World Environment Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development. Together, we can create a healthier planet for current and future generations.

SBI Gram Seva program initiative has so far rejuvenated and restored five ponds. The main objective of this initiative is to rejuvenate, restore and create community ponds for rainwater harvesting and watershed bunds to reduce dependency on groundwater use for farmers in the area, which is why it is named Jal Sanchayan or water conservation. This initiative is aimed to enhance the recharge groundwater table, check soil erosion and land degradation, and enable farmers to utilize pond water during the dry Rabi season by increasing the holding capacities of pond 3,23,925 cum/annum to 5,24,145 cum/annum. So far, more than 950 small & marginal farmers are benefitted and 110 acres of agriculture land surrounded these 5 rejuvenated watersheds gradually over 2-3 years.

In other effort towards the conservation, afforestation initiative named “SBI Jan-Van” has been undertaken this year by the SBI Foundation in Nuh district aiming to convert barren and abundant land into social forestry as the name Jan-Van suggests aiming at the Jan-Van will help to prevent desertification and land degradation in the area. Gram panchayats have provided 12 acres of land in 4 villages for this initiative, and a dedicated Jan-Van Sevak ensures regular watering for the trees and daily maintenance of the Jan-Van. A total of 2,200 saplings have been planted in the Jan-Van so far, with 90% of the plants surviving and showing remarkable growth.

“World Environment Day is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to protect our planet,” said Sanjay Prakash, managing director at SBI Foundation. “By fostering collaboration and innovation, we can work towards a more sustainable future where the needs of people and the planet are balanced.”

Glimpses of Intervention

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