In line with HDI

In line with HDI

PFEL aims to improve Student Learning Outcomes. Piramal Foundation believes that impact at scale across diverse geographies and communities can be achieved through working in partnerships with governments and like-minded organisations.

Published on December 22, 2020 at 11:20 am

Updated on March 22, 2021 at 10:05 am

PFEL aims to improve Student Learning Outcomes.

Piramal Foundation believes that impact at scale across diverse geographies and communities can be achieved through working in partnerships with governments and like-minded organisations.

India has complex challenges that require innovative, localised sustainable solutions that have the potential to create transformational impact at scale. In line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Piramal Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Piramal Group and a Section 8 Company, works on core sectors that are key to improving India’s Human Development Index (HDI) through its three initiatives:

• Piramal Swasthya: Primary Healthcare and Nutrition
• Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership: Education Leadership and Youth Development
• Piramal Sarvajal: Access to Safe Drinking Water

Established in August 2011, Piramal Foundation is committed to developing innovative solutions to resolve issues that are critical roadblocks to India’s economic potential.

Paresh Parasnis, CEO, Piramal Foundation, says, “At Piramal Foundation, it is our constant endeavour to create a positive impact from the grassroots level by collaborating with like-minded partners to address India’s prevalent issues through innovative solutions. Our initiatives are guided by our Group’s core values and philosophy of ‘Doing Well and Doing Good’ as we continue to serve the unserved and underserved communities across India. Currently, the Foundation has a presence across 25 states in India and has impacted over 90 million beneficiaries through its 3 initiatives, mostly in collaboration with state governments.”

The Foundation believes that impact at scale across diverse geographies and communities can be achieved through partnerships with governments {Public Private Partnerships (PPP)} and like-minded organisations. Therefore, most of its projects are in collaboration with state and central governments, philanthropists, corporates, donors, NGOs and social delivery organisations. To achieve scalable results, Piramal Foundation invests in risk capital to pilot programmes and incubate them. In March 2018, Piramal Foundation partnered with NITI Aayog, India’s foremost think tank, to transform 25 Aspirational Districts in 7 Indian states across Primary Healthcare and Nutrition and Education.

ASARA Health Tribal Programme intends to end preventable tribal deaths.

Piramal Swasthya: Primary Healthcare and Nutrition
Piramal Swasthya: Overall Impact
• Presence across 20 states in India
• Served over 10.7 crore beneficiaries through 35 innovative public healthcare delivery programmes
• 370 Remote Health Advisory Call Centres
• 417 Mobile Medical Units (MMUs)
• 30 Telemedicine Nodes

Piramal Swasthya endeavours to bridge the last mile gap in primary healthcare service delivery by supplementing and complementing Government of India’s vision to ensure universal healthcare for all. Piramal Swasthya is one of the largest implementers of PPP programmes in India, and amongst the country’s largest not-for-profit organisations in the primary public healthcare space, focused on Maternal Health, Child and Adolescent Health and Non-communicable Diseases. With over a decade of experience in implementing and operating several innovations at scale, Piramal Swasthya is committed to address the primary healthcare and nutrition needs of the unserved, underserved and marginalised communities across India.

ASARA Tribal Health Programme: Impact
• 720 Habitations, 6 Mandals, 6 TMCs and Nutrition Hubs
• Over 10,000 pregnant women served
• Improved 1sttrimester Ante-Natal Check-ups
• Registrations: From 10% to 40%
• Improved % of institutional deliveries: From 18% to 72%
• 34% mothers transported to public hospitals for delivery by the project team
• 0 Maternal Deaths reported (2017-2019)

“Piramal Swasthya is committed to democratising primary healthcare in India by providing high-impact sustainable solutions. The solutions provided mitigate issues in remote areas such as accessibility, availability and affordability of healthcare services by supplementing the Government’s efforts. With services designed to reach the last household and village, Piramal Swasthya employs 2260 employees including 250 medical doctors that work on the core value of Seva Bhav (beneficiary-centricity) through an outcome-oriented approach,” shares Mr. Vishal Phanse, CEO, Piramal Swasthya.

ASARA Tribal Health Programme: Ending Preventable Maternal Deaths

The ASARA Tribal Health Programme is a unique model focused on ending preventable deaths in extremely remote, hilly and difficult to access tribal communities in Araku Valley, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Araku Valley was facing severe malnutrition problems. The maternal mortality ratio was over 400 per 1 lakh live births and the neonatal mortality rate was over 60 for every 1,000 live births. Only 18% deliveries took place in institutions, under supervision.

Consequently, in 2011, Piramal Swasthya launched the ASARA Programme in 181 tribal habitations of Araku Valley, with an aim to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality amongst the tribal women in the region. Currently covering 720 tribal habitations through 6 Telemedicine Centres (TMCs) and Nutrition Hubs, the interventions by Piramal Swasthya in Araku Valley have resulted in 68% institutional deliveries and recorded zero maternal deaths (2017-2019).

To ensure sustainable impact at scale, Piramal Swasthya included factors such as community outreach, education, awareness, capacity building, access to specialists through telemedicine centres, identification of high-risk cases, referrals and follow-ups in their programme.

Additionally, Piramal Swasthyahas partnered with SERP (Society of Elimination for Rural Poverty – Government of Andhra Pradesh) and Women and Child Development Departments to expand and replicate the nutrition hub concept and spread awareness on nutritional elements and healthy practices amongst pregnant women, lactating mothers and children (up to six years of age). The programme is well-equipped to be replicated in similar tribal setups across the country, contributing to the overall reduction of maternal and infant mortality in India.

Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership: Education Leadership and Youth Development

PFEL: Overall Impact
• 1,360 schools impacted directly
• 3 lakh students impacted directly
• 6,481 Govt. officials impacted
• 40 million students impacted Indirectly
• Presence across 14 states in India
• 18% improvement in SLO (from 28% to 46% from Class 3 & 5 in Math and Language)

Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership (PFEL) is a change management organisation that aims to improve Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) by transforming Education Leadership at district and state levels in India. It catalyses self and systemic behaviour change at scale by supporting government officials to improve processes, deploy tools and integrate technology in the system. In addition, PFEL enables government officials across the value chain to develop mindsets, leadership skills and knowledge to improve the quality of education imparted to children.

Aditya Natraj, CEO, Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership, says, “A strong education system creates the foundation for a country’s sustained economic growth and prosperity. At Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership, our aim is to transform India’s education ecosystem by building leadership capacities of headmasters, teachers and government officials across government schools. Through several of our programmes such as the School Leadership Development Programme and State and District Transformation Programme, we are working towards improving Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) and enrolment in schools. Currently, we have a presence across 14 states in India, impacted 1360 schools, 3 lakh students, 6,481 government officials and marked 18% improvement in SLO.”

Piramal Gandhi Fellowship: Impact
• 742 Gandhi Fellow Alumni
• 620 Current Gandhi Fellows
• 43 Entrepreneurs
• 359 working in NGOs & 25 in CSR
• 50 associated with for-profit social enterprises
• 56 working with the government
• 39 pursuing higher education with leading Tier 1 institutes and Ivy leagues

Youth Empowerment: The Piramal Gandhi Fellowship Programme is an intensive 2-year leadership development programme designed by PFEL that aims to create change agents and nation builders. These young Piramal Gandhi Fellows work at the grassroots level, addressing challenges that enable them to discover themselves and their passion, develop their skills, realise their potential and create positive, systematic and sustainable change in society.

PFEL focuses on improving Student Learning Outcomes in government schools across India by:
• Developing leadership skills of district education officials, principals and teachers across 14 states in India, and providing on-field support through Piramal Gandhi Fellows.
• Working closely with the principals, teachers and officials of the public education system to improve processes in government schools and school administration systems.
• Implementing unified scalable technology solutions that provide an assessment-based digital learning, remote support through Virtual Field Support (VFS) and encouraging group learning for education officials.

SLDP Impact in Gujarat:
• Improved SLO by 13.6%in 2017-18
• 4% increase in SLO gain compared to the previous year & consistent improvements over control schools.
• 14.5% avg. growth in SLO gain of Math & Language subjects across class 3 & 5 in 2017-18
• Self-sustaining System, working directly with school officials.

School Leadership Development Programme (SLDP): This programme has demonstrated systemic transformation across all levels of the education machinery with a strong focus on government schools. SLDP was developed in collaboration with the Piramal Gandhi Fellows and strategic interventions towards education leadership. This programme has significantly contributed to the improvement in the academic performance of students in class 3 and 5 in Surat, Gujarat.

The programme’s 4 separate verticals each focused on headmasters, teachers, school processes and community engagement together form a cohesive plan to consistently increase Student Learning Outcomes. This model has been replicated across government schools in Kheda, Gujarat, improving ownership of the education department and resulting in effective school management and improved learning environment at the school level.

Piramal Sarvajal has presence across 20 states.

Piramal Sarvajal: Access to Safe Drinking Water
Piramal Sarvajal: Overall Impact
• Presence across 20 states in India
• Over 1,900 livelihoods created
• ~6.2 lakh beneficiaries/day
• 1,750+ touch points
• 180+ schools adopted
• 340+ villages adopted
• 1.8 billion litres of purified water dispensed till date

Piramal Sarvajal is a mission-driven social enterprise that believes that safe drinking water should be accessible and affordable to all. Towards this, Piramal Sarvajal has designed and deployed innovative solutions for creating affordable access to safe drinking water in underserved areas.

Anuj Sharma, CEO, Piramal Sarvajal, says, “Piramal Sarvajal is at the forefront of developing technologies and business practices in the safe drinking water sector that are designed to make a purely market-based model sustainable, in both rural and urban deployment conditions. With our focus on last mile delivery of safe drinking water, Piramal Sarvajal currently serves ~6.2 lakh people daily, through 1500+ touch points across 20 Indian states.”

Piramal Sarvajal’s focus is on serving safe drinking water at affordable prices by installing community level purification plants and water ATMs. It has been a pioneer in bringing accountability, better machines and greater operator responsibility to day-to-day operations, by actively deploying remotely tracked drinking water purification systems. By leveraging advances in telecommunication and through the Internet of Things (IoT), Piramal Sarvajal has pioneered real-time online monitoring of the drinking water infrastructure. This has enabled viability of distributed operations, enforcement of price transparency and quality control, streamlining maintenance services, monetising on a ‘pay-per-use’ basis and facilitating targeted subsidies to the underserved.

In urban India, over 20% of the population is Beyond-the-Pipe (BTP). These communities reside in the slum and lack access to basic civic amenities, including safe drinking water. To address these challenges, these communities require customised and pioneering solutions.

To serve non-piped areas within a cluster, Piramal Sarvajal has set up a unique ‘Hub-and-Spoke’ model that is designed to serve areas that may not be well-equipped with power or piped water supply. It comprises a single water treatment system in the community with decentralised dispensing units in a co-centric pattern. This has been achieved through the installation of state-of-the-art purification units, with standalone solar-powered water ATMs. The technology and capacity of the purification unit is selected basis the quality of raw water available and regularity of power supply/target population.

These water ATMs, made of concrete, have robust structures that are cloud-connected, solar-powered and dispense water through an RFID card. Water is collected and transported from the purification site to the ATMs in a modified tank-mounted vehicle and fills the ATMs through a ‘no-touch’ transfer mechanism. As soon as the water level goes below a certain limit in the ATM, an alert is generated and the water ATM is refilled by the vehicle from the plant site.

Along with water ATMs, Piramal Sarvajal has installed a remote tracking device called ‘Soochak Controller’ that tracks the quality and volume of water, monitors the plant’s operational status and captures the vital machine health parameters to provide preventive maintenance. The data generated by the sensors and Soochak are captured on the Sarvajal Enterprise Management System (SEMS).

India has over 6 lakh villages with the population density varying from a lakh to a few hundred. This brings along, its own set of challenges towards ensuring availability and access to safe drinking water. Piramal Sarvajal has developed the following varying models keeping these challenges in mind:
• In villages with over 1,000 households, Piramal Sarvajal promotes an entrepreneur owned and managed franchising model.
• For medium-sized villages where it is difficult to harness entrepreneurial energies, Piramal Sarvajal partners with philanthropic organisations.
• Piramal Sarvajal’s pioneering remote monitoring technology ensures quality accountability and operational transparency, at the last mile. These have been deployed in government-funded locations to improve the performance efficiency of existing setups.
• Piramal Sarvajal has especially designed and deployed an all-in-one Purification-Chilling-Dispensing unit for serving common commuters at public places.
• The Hub-and-Spoke model comprises a network of water ATM units (Spokes) installed at multiple locations that are attached to a localized purification unit (Hub) and has been designed to cater to urban slums.

Hub & Spoke Model in Delhi Slums:
• Impacted 17,179 families across 8 Delhi resettlement colonies
• Served 11.8 million litres of water and counting

Piramal Sarvajal has effectively installed the Hub-and-Spoke model in 8 resettlement colonies (slums) in Delhi, with the support of Delhi Jal Board. Their experience in Delhi has demonstrated that this model contributes to a greater degree of resilience compared to grid/network solutions, especially in times of disaster or man-made service disruption. Following Delhi, Bhubaneswar is the country’s first Smart City to set-up ‘Hub-and-Spoke’ water ATM projects and has signed up with Piramal Sarvajal to set up the decentralised safe drinking water solution through 4 Hub Purification Units and 40 ATMs.

The Piramal Group’s corporate purpose of ‘Doing Well and Doing Good’ is embodied in the Foundation’s constant endeavour to make a positive difference by serving the unserved and underserved communities in India. The Foundation remains committed to transforming social sector ecosystems through high impact solutions, thought leadership and partnerships.

The article was published in the July edition of The Good Sight.



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