New Delhi, April 12, 2018
Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has formed a three-year partnership with S M Sehgal Foundation (Sehgal Foundation), a registered charitable trust in India, for a proposed soil and water conservation project in the semi-arid, drought-hit district of Alwar, Rajasthan. The joint project, which engages the local community in soil and water conservation awareness, aligns well with Axalta’s sustainability principle which is central to its business.
In the next three years, three ponds will be developed in the region. The first pond will be built with a catchment area over 0.6 sq km in the Bhuriyabas village located in the Thanagazi block of the Alwar district, which has an average annual rainfall of 620mm mostly from July to September. A pond is expected to have a 10,000 kilolitre capacity to collect and store rainwater to support local farming, animal husbandry and eco-services. In addition, the project will also carry out tree planting to prevent soil erosion, provide shade and fodder to animals, and revive the area which has a biodiversity of about 12,000 wild species of flora and home to wild animals.
“We are proud to partner with Sehgal Foundation in this worthwhile initiative of water and soil conservation in one of the remotest and worst affected areas of India,” said Charles Shaver, Chairman and CEO of Axalta Coating Systems. “This project with Sehgal Foundation gives Axalta a valuable opportunity to make a small progressive step to enable better livelihood for the community where we do business.”
Sehgal Foundation is working to empower people across rural India to lead a more secure, prosperous, and dignified life. The proposed pond development will engage the local community on water and soil conservation. Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main source of livelihood of the villagers and rainwater is the key water source. The project will provide water management training to ensure that the catchment area can sustain the local community with water available all year round.
“The project to increase surface water availability in the region will bring a change for the better to the lives of local community,” said Ajay Pandey, CEO, Sehgal Foundation. “Now, there is a possibility to improve their income from animal husbandry with more water available. In addition, improvement in soil moisture, green coverage, and fodder availability are all very well possible through the pond development. The local community and the Foundation are truly appreciative of Axalta’s support and contribution to this joint initiative.”
The construction of one pond is expected to take about six months, after which the Sehgal Foundation will carry out monitoring and evaluation.