Maharashtra is one of the most developed states in India with Mumbai considered as the financial capital of India. Over the past few years Maharashtra has shown significant economic progress, driven by growth in the industrial and service sector. However, Maharashtra has also been affected by unprecedented droughts, adversely impacting thousands of villages and millions of people. The Government of Maharashtra is taking steps towards inclusive development, with particular focus on the parameters that the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals recommends.
To fulfill that vision, Maharashtra Government has formed a section 8 company, Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF), which is implementing a ‘Village Social Transformation Mission’ of reforming 2500 low human development index villages (1000 Gram Panchayats) in Maharashtra into Model Villages. Projects undertaken under this program provide digital connectivity, water security, skills training, improved agriculture, education, health and sanitation facilities to the villagers. A novel hybrid mechanism for executing and funding village transformation projects has been devised by the state. Several corporates have been on-boarded by the foundation to fund the program under an arrangement where the state government matches the corporate contribution. A dedicated fellow has been assigned to a cluster of 3-4 villages who is responsible for creating projects for their village, identifying service providers and monitoring implementation.
CDFI customized its fund management and project tracking platform, ‘Sunidhi’ and developed its mobile extension for fellows to create, execute and track projects in their respective villages. While the VSTF team, government officials, and corporates used Sunidhi’s web portal to manage and monitor program implementation at the villages.
CDFI’s support was provided in 400 villages in rural Maharashtra using 150 fellows and has been successfully handed over to VSTF.