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On the occasion of World Environment Day, the SBI Foundation uniting for a sustainable future

6th June 2024: 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 is 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 drives 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 amplify the message of environmental conservation, reaching thousands of people across the Nuh district.

In line with this year’s theme in 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 and 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.

The 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 at recharging groundwater tables, checking soil erosion and land degradation, and enabling farmers to utilize pond water during the dry Rabi season by increasing the holding capacities of ponds from 3,23,925 cum/annum to 5,24,145 cum/annum. So far, more than 950 small & marginal farmers have benefited, and 110 acres of agricultural land have gradually surrounded these 5 rejuvenated watersheds over the past 2–3 years.

In other efforts towards conservation, an 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. This 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 the 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.”


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