Jal Yukta Shivar (Drought-Free Maharashtra)

Reconstruction of well at Pimpari_2
Reconstruction of well at Pimpari_1

Jal Yukta Shivar (Drought-Free Maharashtra)

To support the state level mission of Government of Maharashtra to make the state drought-free in upcoming years, Mercedes-Benz India has constructed and renovated water conservation structures in 8 villages that facilitates groundwater recharge in drought hit areas of Khed and Ambegaon taluka. Through this program, MB India constructed new rock tanks and wells and renovated existing traditional water storage structures in the nearby communities of Khed and Ambegaon taluka, thus providing a sustainable water conservation solutions.

Active Restoration of degraded forest lands and conservation of Sacred Groves:

Active Restoration of degraded forest lands and conservation of Sacred Groves:

Construction of Dimbhe dam in Ambegaon taluka, has led to displacement of communities in the valleys and slopes of upper catchment of the dam resulting in receiving scarce resources. To strive in the area, the local people started clearing the forest lands eventually creating pressure on the available natural resources. Shashwat Trust through its activities is working in combating these changes and provide an alternative livelihood opportunities to the local people, thus ensuring its sustainability.

Mercedes-Benz India in collaboration with Shashwat Trust has undertaken a long-term initiative of forest conservation and restoration of degraded land in Ambegaon taluka. Through this initiative and with the involvement of local people, community nurseries of more than 30,000 native plants were prepared and the same saplings were planted on the forest lands of Ambegaon taluka. Along with this initiative, Mercedes-Benz India has also initiated a conservation plan for community conserved forests areas or Sacred Groves (called as Devrai in local language). These are community owned forests and preserved for many years on religious believes, which helps in reducing soil erosion, ensures groundwater recharge and reduces carbon content in the atmosphere. These initiatives are not only benefitting the environment but also supports in providing livelihood options to the local people. 

As an environmentally responsible company, Mercedes-Benz India planted nearly 950 trees around the company premises to increase biodiversity and increase green cover

Decentralized Waste Management System at village level:

Rally for Eco-friendly Ganpati celebration
Interactive session with the local women group_1

Decentralized Waste Management System at village level:

Waste in any form of dry or wet creates undisputed nuisance in the environment. The ever increasing problem of waste is not only affecting the urban areas but also rural areas, resulting in environmental degradation and human health issues. If handled properly, the waste management can be a boon to both the societies.

Know How Foundation (KHF) is a Pune based NGO working in tackling the overall waste generated in the area, from its collection to disposal. MB India in collaboration with KHF initiated the waste management project in Daravali village, Mulshi taluka. Around 330 household in the village are given the specialized Composter Planters that contains composting material used to decompose the kitchen waste generated on daily basis, thus reducing the pressure on environment and its implications on human health. Local people from Daravali village were involved in the awareness sessions regarding their responsibilities and roles in waste management while applying appropriate technology. They were also provided with the information on waste, types of waste, waste segregation and current practices of waste management. Special awareness sessions were arranged for the women from Daravli village regarding the importance of waste management at household level, its effect on health, and demonstrative session on the use of Composter Planters.

Restoration of Mangroves, provide livelihood and alleviate poverty:

Canal Digging at Pulicat lake
Development of home garden along with the local people
Nursery development at Pulicat with the involvement of local people

Restoration of Mangroves, provide livelihood and alleviate poverty:

Mangroves are the most unique and vulnerable ecosystems found on Earth. Nowhere else in the world do freshwater and saltwater species, marine and terrestrial organisms share the same habitat in such outstanding diversity. Local communities living in and around these areas are highly dependent on the resources obtained from these forests. Mangrove trees are cut for firewood and timber, and large patches are cut-down to make spaces for shrimp farms. Due to such activities the rare and endangered species are constantly under threat. Pulicat Lake in Chennai (the second largest brackish water lake in India) and Sundarbans in West Bengal, are constantly affected by natural calamities and unprecedented human interventions. Mercedes-Benz India in collaboration with CReNIEO (Centre for Research on New International Economic Order) in Chennai and NEWS (Nature, Environment and Wildlife Society) in West Bengal, initiated the Mangrove Restoration project that will help in restoring 90 hectares of mangroves at Pulicat Lake and Sundarbans. This initiative involves participation of local communities, thus generating livelihood opportunities. The project also contributes to the conservation of biodiversity, alleviates poverty and mitigates adverse impact of climate change at local level. Local people are provided with training on kitchen garden and nursery techniques to empower them to be successful in their business. Special emphasis is given on the training of women from the communities to ensure employability and sustainability of the projects.

Alternative Livelihood options through sustainable farming (Draw-Down Cultivation):

Beneficiaries receiving pumps for Draw-Down cultivation practice
Distribution of materials required for Draw-down cultivation_2

Alternative Livelihood options through sustainable farming (Draw-Down Cultivation):

Drawdown cultivation is a type of seasonal farming, which utilizes the upper slopes of the dam that is filled with nutrient rich soil and can be used for cultivation, once the dam water is released. This cultivation practice requires little irrigation as the moisture retains in the area for longer time. Draw-down zones have value for agriculture and hence, cultivation of short duration and high yielding varieties of selective crops could help in obtaining the multiple crops in a single draw-down period, which eventually helps farmer in increased income source.

To support this type of farming, and provide alternative livelihood options to the people, who otherwise depend on forest resources, Mercedes-Benz India in collaboration with Shashwat Trust is providing proper training on this farming method and selection of crops that requires less cultivation period. The selected farmers are given essential materials that are necessary for Draw-Down cultivation. Around 400 farmers in Ambegaon taluka are receiving sustainable livelihood through this initiative.

Smokeless cooking stoves for villages:

Beneficiaries receiving the smokeless cooking stoves_2
Beneficiaries receiving the smokeless cooking stoves_2
Beneficiaries receiving the smokeless cooking stoves_3

Smokeless cooking stoves for villages:

The rural households in Maharashtra still use traditional fuel, such as firewood, dung cake, plastic and agricultural waste for cooking purpose. This practice put a huge burden on women, impacting their health at large.

Envirofit is a social enterprise that addresses the issue of Indoor Air Pollution in India, caused due to burning of wood in traditional chulhas/cook-stoves. Considering the negative impact of the traditional use of chulhas in rural parts of Maharashtra, Mercedes-Benz India in collaboration with Envirofit provided Smokeless Cooking Stoves to around 1000 families in Khed taluka. This program aims to reduce carbon emissions from rural households and improve livelihoods. This will create socio-economic benefits to the communities to fight against climate change by reducing smoke and toxic emissions up to 80% and offer economic and environmental benefits.

Dust Sweeping Truck:

Dust Sweeping Truks

Dust Sweeping Truck:

Road dust remains one of the key reasons contributing to air pollution in New Delhi. To address this issue, Mercedes-Benz India provided a Road Sweeping Truck to Delhi Municipal Corporation. Its vacuum cleaning unit is a proven cleaning process that sprays water in the area it is cleaning before the vacuum head pass the debris/dust, effectively reducing air pollution caused from accumulated road dust.